Wednesday, July 25, 2012

How The White House And Senator Harry Reid Are Working To Weaken Iran Sanctions

As I mentioned previously, the media touting of the Obama Administration's foreign policy record is supremely unwarranted.

One of the president's worst foreign policy failures has been on Iran's illegal nuclear program.

The administration has repeatedly tried to 'engage' the Iranians, and the only thing it's resulted in is more time for the centrifuges to spin as Iran marches toward acquiring nuclear weapons.

The recent plethora of 'sanctions' are a joke.

If you'll remember, the same president who is now touting them as part of his foreign policy achievements fought against them tooth and nail when they were proposed, and they have done nothing to impede the Iranian nuclear weapons project.

Aside from the fact Russia and Turkey are openly flouting them, waivers and exceptions have been given out by the Obama Administration to foreign countries by the truck load.

The obvious conclusion, and one the Iranians have almost certainly come to as well is that this president is too weak to issue the only real sanctions that would work - stopping American Banks from dealing with anyone processing oil payments via Iran's Central bank. Either that, or he simply doesn't have a problem with Iran going nuclear, campaign rhetoric to the contrary.

The latest example of this kind of behavior involves legislation currently making its way through the Senate that would also be quite effective if enforced, a bill that would penalize any company that underwrites Iranian affiliates and any insurance company that underwrites activities that bolster the Iranian oil industry.

As you can imagine, this could cut into the mullah's cash flow quite effectively. Shipping companies, cargo carriers, oil exploration, even foreign employees working the oil fields for Iran all require insurance in order to do business.

So of course, it's being watered down to nothingness on instructions from the White House, with the able assistance of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senator Tim Johnston (D-SD):

The insurance industry and prominent Democratic lawmakers are attempting to water down a new Iran sanctions bill that would penalize any company that underwrites Iranian affiliates, according to insiders on Capitol Hill.

Sens. Harry Reid (D., Nev.), Tim Johnson (D., S.D.), and others have quietly lobbied to weaken the revamped sanctions language, which has been circulating on Capitol Hill for several months.{...}

Johnson and Reid have each received nearly half-a-million dollars from individuals and political action committees affiliated with the insurance industry, leading some to wonder whether these lawmakers are doing their corporate donors’ bidding.

Neither lawmaker responded to a request for comment.

“There is significant pressure being brought to bear by the Obama Administration in coordination with the insurance lobby to stop any far-reaching insurance sanctions against Iran,” said a congressional source. “Whether money plays a role, who knows, but the pressure is intense and Democrats—and even some House Republicans—appear to be carrying the water.”

The Senate in March considered language targeting the insurance sector, but Reid and the Obama administration lobbied at the time to thwart the amendment aimed at targeting those insurance companies dealing with Iran.

The language is missing from Johnson’s Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Human Rights Act of 2012, which still awaits final passage in the Senate.{...}

The Obama administration remains on the side of the insurance industry, insiders said.

“It’s more about the administration’s reluctance to go along with” the sanctions, one of the insiders explained. “The administration’s perspective as they explained it to me … is that [it doesn’t want to tell] our allies, ‘You have to stop doing business with Iran tomorrow.’

”Team Obama has repeatedly urged its Congressional allies to weaken multiple Iran sanctions despite widespread support for the measures.

The Iranian experience with America since the Islamic Revolution in 1978 has primarily been one of weakness and vacillation.

The Iranian regime has performed actions that would have resulted in a declaration of war from a previous generation of Americans, yet they continue doing so with impunity and without suffering any major retaliation whatsoever.

The cost for this kind of craven appeasement never goes merely accrues and gathers interest. If this continues, the cost when the bill comes due to us in the future is going to make us wish we'd dealt with it far sooner.

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