Friday, April 09, 2010

Obama: No Agreement Yet Over Iran Sanctions With Russians

And any sanctions that end up being imposed are likely to be weak and watered down. That's what Laura Rozen of Politico is actually reporting, once you read between the lines:

Obama national security advisers Michael McFaul and Ben Rhodes, and spokesman Robert Gibbs briefed the press today on Iran sanctions in Prague. McFaul said that Iran had been a substantial topic of discussion at a meeting today between Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

“We want to use sanctions to change Iranian behavior,” McFaul says.

Medvedev gave Obama details on what would and would not be acceptable to Russia in the new resolution, McFaul said. {...}

Asked at a press conference in Prague whether Iran sanctions on the energy sector have been taken off the table by the Russians, Michael McFaul, an adviser on Russian affairs, says "it is not off the table." "Where it ends out, I honestly don't know," the White House adviser says, but it is not a "category" that is off the table.

Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser, says, "We have not set regime change as a goal of these sanctions."(...)

On Iran, Rhodes says the international community has "come a long way" in forming a consensus that "leaves Iran more isolated."

"As it relates to sanctions, it would cause grave humanitarian consequences for the Iranian people," he says. "We’re not interested in that either."

McFaul says that Medvedev stressed that he doesn't support sanctions that would lead to “economic hardship for the Iranian people” or a “regime change," and that Obama agreed. “We want to use sanctions to change Iranian behavior,” McFaul says.

Stepping in, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs cautions reporters not to parse whether "spring" — when Obama has said a vote will materialize — means specific months, advising the press to simply stick with "spring."

Good luck with that.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've said it before, this adminsitraion is a bunch of clowns.