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Obama Wants To Soften Iran Sanctions

From the Washington Times:

White House seeks to soften Iran sanctions

By Eli Lake

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Obama administration is pressing Congress to provide an exemption from Iran sanctions to companies based in "cooperating countries," a move that likely would exempt Chinese and Russian concerns from penalties meant to discourage investment in Iran.

The Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act is in a House-Senate conference committee and is expected to reach President Obama’s desk by Memorial Day.

"It’s incredible the administration is asking for exemptions, under the table and winking and nodding, before the legislation is signed into law," Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida Republican and a conference committee member, said in an interview. A White House official confirmed Wednesday that the administration was pushing the conference committee to adopt the exemption of "cooperating countries" in the legislation.

Neither the House nor Senate version of the bill includes a "cooperating countries" provision even though the administration asked the leading sponsors of the Senate version of the bill nearly six months ago to include one

"We’re pushing for a ‘cooperating-countries’ exemption," the White House official said. "It is not targeted to any country in particular, but would be based on objective criteria and made in full consultation with the Congress."

Mrs. Ros-Lehtinen, however, said the exemption "is aimed at China and Russia specifically."

"The administration wants to give a pass to countries for merely supporting a watered-down, almost do-nothing U.N. resolution," she said.

All past sanctions against Iran have included a waiver that lets the president refrain from penalizing foreign companies that are doing business with Iran.

The "cooperating countries" language that the White House is pressing would allow the executive branch to designate countries as cooperating with the overall strategy to pressure Iran economically.

According to three congressional staffers familiar with the White House proposal, once a country is on that list, the administration wouldn’t even have to identify companies from that country as selling gasoline or aiding Iran’s refinement industry.

Even if, as current law allows, the administration can waive the penalties on named companies for various reasons, the "cooperating countries" language would deprive the sanctions of their "name-and-shame" power, the staffers said.

The prospect that China and Chinese firms would be exempt from penalty follows reports that Beijing is cooperating with Iran’s missile program. On April 23, Jane’s Defense Weekly reported that China broke ground on a plant in Iran this month that will build the Nasr-1 anti-ship missile.

Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, where he directs the group’s Iran energy project, said the "’cooperating-country’ status would send a signal to the energy sector that the Obama administration is not serious about penalizing those companies that continue to do business with the Iranian energy sector, the lifeblood of the men who rule Iran." …

One congressional staff member working on the bill told The Washington Times that Mr. Obama personally asked the House leadership this month to put off the sanctions bill until after the current work period

We would say this was unbelievable, if it weren’t so believable.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, April 29th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

12 Responses to “Obama Wants To Soften Iran Sanctions”

  1. NoNeoCommies says:

    No worries.
    Obama will embargo tanning beds and lotion to help the Iranian Mullahs keep women safe from exposure and skin cancer.

  2. proreason says:

    Maybe we should send our nuclear scientists to Iran.

    They don’t seem to be getting the nukes fast enough to satisfy Obamy.

  3. Reality Bytes says:

    Like Clinton, Obama in his reckless diregard is going to get thousands of Americans killed (and I don’t mean soldiers).

  4. MinnesotaRush says:

    “It’s incredible the administration is asking for exemptions, under the table and winking and nodding, before the legislation is signed into law,”

    Not incredible .. ROUTINE!!!

    • Mithrandir says:

      Yep, the Rookie-in-Chief realized that sanctions were a bad idea after all. How about READ THE DETAILS OF YOUR OWN POLICIES, before you take action–like health care too.

  5. beautyofreason says:

    So in other words, Obama is not going to do a damn thing about Iran building nukes.

    But he will put on a good show of pretending to be tough on Iran. Maybe he will send out Hillary Clinton to make some harsh speeches.

    This situation reminds me of his whole campaign, his loads of empty claims that sound moderate at first glance but mask his disdain for our country.

    How many people is this radical going to get killed? I’m starting to believe that his policies are deliberately designed to weaken our country.

  6. crate says:

    Meanwhile all this is going on Puerto Rico 51st state? DC voting rights? Illegals amnesty, swat and HHS being sent to all oil rigs…Swat sent to Tea Partys. A trully upside down world I live in these days…

  7. FCAFlyer says:

    It’s a parallel world, Crate. Remember the TV show, “Sliders”? Somehow, we all slipped down the worm hole together. Now, how do we get back?

  8. joeblough says:

    Oh for pity’s sake!

    Obama is in favor of Iranian nukes!


    Just because he feels obliged to enact the sanctions charade doesn’t mean that we’re obliged to pretend that it’s real — or that we believe him.

  9. Mithrandir says:

    Lawyer + politician = the biggest liars in the world.

    90% of what they say, usually the opposite is more likely.

    ~So Obama will force health care down our throat, and file suit against our own citizens of Arizona, BUT, when it comes to the world stage, he is a scared mouse.

    I ALWAYS hoped we wouldn’t screw around with Iran, but don’t LIE ABOUT doing something, then not do anything. ~Nice message you send to our enemies there buddy.

  10. DANEgerus says:

    The Iraq war resulted from, and exposed, UN-France-Russia-Germany undercutting sanctions. Now Barack Hussein Obama wants Russia & China to “sign on” to “sanctions” on Iran to which they are exempt.

    So Russia and China’s nuclear proliferation treachery, in arming and supporting Iran’s development of Nuclear weapons, is to be rewarded with trade preferences?

    This is “smart diplomacy”?

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