Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 12, 2013

Sabotaging The Nuclear Deal U.S. Adds New Sanctions On Iran

On November 24 the P5+1 and the Islamic Republic of Iran agreed on a temporary deal about the Iranian nuclear program and the sanctions against it. The agreed upon Joint Plan Of Action (pdf) includes this clause in the Elements of a first step which both sides are supposed to have by now implemented:

In return, the E3/EU+3 would undertake the following voluntary measures:
  • Pause efforts to further reduce Iran's crude oil sales, enabling Iran's current customers to purchase their current average amounts of crude oil. Enable the repatriation of an agreed amount of revenue held abroad. For such oil sales, suspend the EU and U.S. sanctions on associated insurance and transportation services.
  • Suspend U.S. and EU sanctions on:
  • Iran's petrochemical exports, as well as sanctions on associated services
  • ...
  • The U.S. Administration, acting consistent with the respective roles of the President and the Congress, will refrain from imposing new nuclear-related sanctions.

Today the United States broke the deal by imposing additional sanctions on Iran. There are now new sanctions against 4 persons, 12 companies and 36 reflagged ships many of them linked to Iran's oil sales and associated services.

Just two weeks ago the Obama administration had warned that new sanctions would thwart diplomatic talks with Iran:

Secretary of State John Kerry videotaped a message to members of Congress warning against any new sanctions during the six-month period of talks foreseen by a deal struck last weekend in Geneva.
...
The White House echoed the message, warning that any "additional sanctions before this diplomatic window could be pursued would undermine our credibility about the goal of these sanctions."
...
New sanctions would "violate the spirit" of the interim agreement and, [State Department spokeswoman] Psaki warned Tuesday, could divide the parties to the deal "because other countries would think that the United States is not living up to our end of the bargain in terms of giving the negotiations a chance."

Two days ago the undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence at the Treasury Department David Cohen wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that the U.S. would continue to "enforce current sanction":

To disrupt and disable those facilitating Iran's nuclear and missile programs, we will identify front companies, evaders and malefactors and sanction them. Along with our partners across the U.S. government, my team at Treasury has done so more than 600 times in the last several years. This will continue unabated.

This may be an attempt to stop new sanction legislation pushed for by the Israel lobby in the U.S. Congress. But the Israel-firsters will push for war no matter what the Obama administration does. They will ignore this move - or even see it as weakness - and they will push stronger.

There are now new persons, new companies and new ships on the just published new sanction list. The ship sanctions and some of the company sanctions clearly aim at hindering oil exports. I doubt that the people of Iran, especially those who are against any deal, will see these as enforcement of current sanctions.  They and other countries will see these new sanction designations as a break of the letter and spirit of the Joint Plan Of Action.

These new sanctions are exactly what the Obama adminsitration warned of just two weeks ago. They are  a confirmation that the U.S. does not want a deal. But it wants Iran to be seen the party that steps away from the current agreement. I doubt, given the new sanctions the U.S. now published, that such a plan will work.

Posted by b on December 12, 2013 at 10:18 AM | Permalink

Comments

All that will do is split the E3/EU+3. The US can heap sanctions on Iran as they please without cooperation by other nations they will iaolate themselves.

So if Iran sticks to the agreement the US has no reason to sanction others for dealing with Iran.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 12, 2013 10:24:25 AM | 1

Actually, reading the new sanctions list you link to b. it is a document of the futility of the US sanctions attempt - trying to catch up with rebranding and straw men.
I doubt Iran takes this seriously as long as the US unfreezes the billions they owe to Iran.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 12, 2013 10:29:56 AM | 2

The ideal scenario for the US would be to get as many concessions out of Iran as possible, even to the point of no enrichment at all, and to keep all the sanctions in place for as long as possible hoping for regime change, which is what it is all about in any case. Because the US thinks it is the master of the Universe it will over extend itself, just as it did when negotiating with North Korea, then George Bush played hardball [Wendy Sherman was also on that negotiating team] In that agreement North Korea would receive 500,000 tons of heavy oil per year and 2 light water reactors to replace the graphite-moderated ones under construction and the lifting of sanctions. When the Republicans took over congress they did not support the agreement, they regarded it as appeasement, so the oil supplies were delivered late and the economic sanctions were kept in place. Because of this North Korea warned that they would resume nuclear research unless the US kept its part of the bargain. Because of US intransigence negotiations broke down, and now North Korea is a nuclear weapons state, immune from attack.The moral of the story is,the US can never be trusted.

Posted by: harrylaw | Dec 12, 2013 11:10:32 AM | 3

"The ideal scenario for the US would be to get as many concessions out of Iran as possible, even to the point of no enrichment at all, and to keep all the sanctions in place for as long as possible hoping for regime change, which is what it is all about in any case."

Nothing is more likely to consolidate the Iranian "regime" (by which I do not mean merely the governing administration) than such behaviour by the US. All "regime change" plans depend upon the existence of a westernising, youthful movement sympathetic to the US and ready to turn against "hardliners".

The current situation is one in which the government, with the consent of Khameini and the clergy, has bent over backwards to facilitate the US. If the US now reneges and attempts to trick Iran public opinion will rapidly unite against the Great Satan.

The current position is that the Iranian bourgeoisie sees the opportunity to make some big money quickly. If the US makes this impossible it will throw its weight behind the alternative trade options.

Iran gives up little more than its pride in its concessions to the US, a small price if the sanctions dissolve. But the US has given up much more. Most of all it has taken its policies in the region off "automatic pilot" and burdened itself with the necessity of thinking out its moves, using the dusty old brains which have been in storage since 1979.

This is why signals such as these new sanctions are rife: there is a struggle for power in DC. Some want to consolidate the agreement with Iran, others to sabotage it. Some want to provoke the Iranians. Others to quieten down the Israelis. It is one of the problems with an Empire: there is so much power but it is so difficult to mobilise it efficiently.

It is the political equivalent of an army having long, convoluted and vulnerable lines of communication.

Posted by: bevin | Dec 12, 2013 11:31:27 AM | 4

I don't understand? Has Treasury gone rogue here or is executive O'hypocrite ordering Treasury to do this/ playing both sides?

Posted by: Eureka Springs | Dec 12, 2013 12:37:50 PM | 5

An illustrative is this, very educational, video and interview about Cuba and its sanctions. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37088.htm

It is more and more coming to apparent the agreement is just buying time for one or both side, it just postponing a problem. It appears to be in accordance with Landdestroyer: http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2013/11/nuclear-deal-with-iran-prelude-to-war.html

In link that b posted from WSJ.com is also a sign that nothing has changed. A sanctions even can be taken off but it remains a problem of payment. Nothing happen by accident in politics, previous Undersecretary Stuart Levey had made sure that will be no transactions with Iran. The Department of Treasury is major enforced trough the IMF, or SWIFT, banks, or otherwise.

More about it from Andrew Cockburn: http://harpers.org/archive/2013/09/a-very-perfect-instrument/1/

Ukraine is also an indication that "the beast have not changed a mind".

Posted by: neretva'43 | Dec 12, 2013 12:58:48 PM | 6

As noted in my post on Syria below, as these sanctions by the Treasury are somewhat under the press radar yet could still form the basis of Iran reneging on the deal thus giving the appearance of Iran being the ones walking away from the deal, this falls nicely into the scenario which Cartalucci details was already baked into the Brooking Institutions neocon plan entitled "Which Path to Persia?" which was authored in 2009 by Martin Indyk among other Zionist scum.

Has someone gone rogue? Hardly. This is just the MO of our traitorous Zionist government in the US as recently also witnessed in the Ukraine with State Dept employee Nuland handing out goodies to the US backed "protestors". Nuland is married to the co-founder of PNAC and fellow Brookings employee, Robert Kagan. How adorable.

So, not content with murdering hundreds of thousands of innocent people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya etc, destroying the lives of millions more through maiming, displacement, torture and imprisonment and trashing the economic standing of the US, these traitorous scum think that not only would having a war with Iran just be super-duper but - hey - why not flirt with a potential - nuclear? - confrontation with Russia.

But yet questioning the motives of said Zionists in the US - and any other Western government - is somehow anti-Semitic, huh?

Again, also recently, SOS Kerry lifts verbatim talk of a demographic "time-bomb" out of the mouths of Israeli scum in the middle of the farcical peace talks with the genocidal apartheid state of Israel?

And we conscientious Americans shouldn't begin to stop playing footsie with these traitors in our midst? We're supposed to just sit around with our dicks etc in our hands saying: That's just the Zionists being Zionist, dog. It's all good?

Enough of this effing horsesh!te already.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Dec 12, 2013 1:03:27 PM | 7

- The warmongers in both the US & Israel ALWAYS want MORE war. Because it means more turn over for the arms manufacturers.
- The US military DOES not want war with both Syria & Iran !
- The MAIN reason Israel keeps banging on the drum called "War with Iran" is to distract attention from how bad Israel treats the palestinians. But it also allows the warmongers to "throw in their weight" for more wars.
- The US intelligence analysts have prevented TWICE the start of a new US war in the Middle East. The first time in September 2007 when the NIE was published which effectively blew an attack on Iran "Out of the water".
The second time was this year when the analysts threatened to resign in droves when the US government would attack Syria. Together with the US military opposing war, this was enough to prevent a US attack.

Posted by: Willy2 | Dec 12, 2013 1:37:12 PM | 8

Nothing is more likely to consolidate the Iranian "regime" (by which I do not mean merely the governing administration) than such behaviour by the US. All "regime change" plans depend upon the existence of a westernising, youthful movement sympathetic to the US and ready to turn against "hardliners".
Bevin, I don't like seeming to pick on you, but everything you write breathes the same spirit of idealism, 'decency', or just plain naivete. My instincts always pull me in the diametrically opposite direction to yours. In my judgment, this westernising youthful movement of which you speak is not what you imagine, or at least, those parts of it that play an active role in the US scenario for regime change are not what you imagine. There is no danger of their rallying to the regime. They are paid dissidents, the only difference from the colour revolution countries being that the methods of payment are rather better hidden.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Dec 12, 2013 2:05:48 PM | 9

Rowan Berkeley @ 9

I think you're off the mark. Were all the street-fighting youth who took on the Mubarak Interior Ministry goons and helped hold Tahrir Square in the winter of 2011 hired help? Don't you think there's a cosmopolitan desire for emancipation among the youth? I do. It can certainly can be co-opted, as el-Sisi's July 3 coup proves, but that doesn't mean it is always bought and sold.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Dec 12, 2013 2:54:42 PM | 10

I wouldn't over interpret every statement made by the administration. There is an intense political struggle going on in Washington right now. It is between those that was war with Iran and those who have concluded that a negotiated settlement is preferable. The political posturing should be accepted for what it is.

It is looking like for now that Obama and kerry have caved in completely by accepting Israel's demands with regard to the Palestinian questions. This is a trade off to advance the peace talks with Iran. It is possible that Obama will lose over the Iranian issue in Washington but I think the days of international sanctions against Iran are numbered. I suspect that Europe will end them on their own if the neocons win the fight in Washington. China and Russia will of course also work hard to undermine the sanctions.

The choice for Obama is to see his and Washington's ME policies collapse or to sign an agreement that he can claim is advancing rational policy.

Posted by: ToivoS | Dec 12, 2013 3:59:20 PM | 11

Rowan pick on me as much as you wish.
But think first: I have no illusions about the "Green" movement. They are riddled with agents and march to Washington's drumbeat.

But they are only a small group. Their tactic is to gather supporters by, inter alia, lauding the liberalism, benevolence and above all, indefatigability of the United States. In recent weeks the number of those ready to believe in US benevolence and Obama being different will have risen. By the same token support for the tougher nationalist positions will have been eroded.

Now, my point is that the US will be isolating and diminishing its friends' numbers by refusing to abide by the spirit which, according to the pro-US factions in Iran, lies behind the US agreeing to hold off on its military threats.

I am surprised that you read what I wrote to mean anything else. Or I would be did I not know that between making strawmen and cramming people into stereotypes you have little time to read and critically evaluate what others say.
Why should you? You know already what we think.

Posted by: bevin | Dec 12, 2013 4:16:24 PM | 12

@11 ToivoS, you point out an important part of this process that is never mentioned i.e. the American-imposed sanctions only work if The Rest Of The Gang agree to abide by them.

And, yes, so far the "P5+1 - USA" have been willing to accept those diktats from Washington, in large part because the USA has argued that the sanctions get Iran to the negotiating table.

But there appears to be this belief that Congress can simply keep piling sanctions upon sanctions upon sanctions and the "P5+1 - USA" will simply continue to say "Oh, OK, sure thing".

But I suspect that the Obama administration has been hearing quiet words to the effect that if the USA insists on doubling-down then important players might just start eying off the exit-doors.

These sanctions work ONLY because nobody is willing to break ranks, but if the sanctions can no longer be disguised as anything other than an exercise in vindictive bloody-minded by Congress then the BRICS might bolt for the exit, and once that starts then the USA will end up alone in the room, and dressed as The Emperor With No Clothes.

I'm not saying that they *will* bolt, but what I am saying is that the odds are "not-zero".

And since they are "not-zero" then the Obama administration has to factor that possibility into their calculations, and that might just account for the effort they have put into getting this interim deal signed.

Unlike Congress, which acts as if it were composed entirely of a bunch of tunnel-visioned, navel-gazers stomping around in the sandpit like some pathetically autistic Godzilla.


Posted by: Johnboy | Dec 12, 2013 4:43:41 PM | 13

its time the US was sanctioned...people and nations need to stop funding the US rogue state

Posted by: brian | Dec 12, 2013 4:56:25 PM | 14

Mandela is not cold in his grave and already the US regime is turning the thumb crew m more on a sovereign state. SHAME and shame on americans for not rising up like in the arab world and driving the regime out of power and into the Hague

Posted by: brian | Dec 12, 2013 4:58:53 PM | 15

Posted by: Johnboy | Dec 12, 2013 4:43:41 PM | 13

congress is controlled by israel

Posted by: brian | Dec 12, 2013 4:59:30 PM | 16

That interim agreement has not formally gone into effect, according to the state department. Even so, it's clearly a provocation.

Posted by: Pierre Gilly | Dec 12, 2013 4:59:42 PM | 17

@Johnboy | 13

Every politician in their right mind (regardless 5+1 or the rest of the World) perfectly understands sanctions against Iran are meant for regime change, so they wont be bolting just because its "an exercise in vindictive bloody-minded by Congress", they knew it all along.

There are two main reasons why most of the World is complying with sanctions:

1. Loss of US market is considerably worse than loss of Iran's, thus as long as this tendency continues, US has considerable clout to enforce sanctions.

2. Western countries (especially P3+1) also want regime change in Iran, to exploit and loot the country in any way possible is very compelling reason.

Plus there is a wrong impression Russia/China doesnt want sanctions against Iran - they voted 4 rounds and having massive profits because of it. I made a detailed post in MoA how much they benefit from Iran's sanctions some time ago, but in short - Russia/China are happy with status quo as long as Iran doesnt fall, so its a delicate balancing on their part.

Posted by: Harry | Dec 12, 2013 5:12:45 PM | 18

There will never be "PEACE" with the ZOG "BEAST". Enjoy the theater.

Posted by: paul | Dec 12, 2013 5:33:08 PM | 19

The long-awaited UN chemical weapons report has just been released. The report confirms two attacks on Syrian soldiers after the chemical wealons attack in Gouda that was used as a "casus i." (I believe these attacks referred to the chemical weapons explosions in tunnels that injured several Syrian and Hezbollah soldiers. The Syrian govt. reportedly received intelligence about chemical weapons stored in tunnels after the major attack).


The Washington Post, which refused to run the Hersh article, hssn't reported this yet -- the story is in the NY Times and Guardian.


https://myaccount.nytimes.com/mobile/wall/smart/index.html?EXIT_URI=http%3A%2F%2Fmobile.nytimes.com%2FloginReturn%3Furl%3D%252F2013%252F12%252F13%252Fworld%252Fmiddleeast%252Fun-confirms-repeated-chemical-arms-use-in-syria.html

Posted by: LLza | Dec 12, 2013 9:33:28 PM | 20

This might be premature but it is looking like AIPAC is losing in Congress in its efforts to impose more sanctions on Iran.

http://mjayrosenberg.com/

Much of the belligerent rhetoric on Capital Hill this last month are just politicians telling their fund raisers and constituents what they want to hear but out of the spot light of publicity, they would be willing to quietly sabotage AIPAC's proposed legislation. This has been slowly building in Washington for at least the last 18 months. Obama is moving towards a negotiated settlement with the Iranians and Democrats in Congress are not going to work against him. Much of the politics that is going on here is not visible so it is difficult to see the moves, especially for those who do not live in the States.

Posted by: ToivoS | Dec 12, 2013 9:53:33 PM | 21

"These sanctions work ONLY because nobody is willing to break ranks, but if the sanctions can no longer be disguised as anything other than an exercise in vindictive bloody-minded by Congress then the BRICS might bolt for the exit, and once that starts then the USA will end up alone in the room, and dressed as The Emperor With No Clothes.

"I'm not saying that they *will* bolt, but what I am saying is that the odds are "not-zero"."

Precisely. The Iranians have seized the opportunity to isolate the US just as it has been isolated on its Cuban sanctions. There is no way that the the US will be able to persuade any but the usual suspects to go along with renewed sanctions if it continues to act like this. And it will.

The US position is very difficult: it lacks the freedom to act sensibly while its ability to impose its insane positions on other countries has greatly diminished. What with the greed of the MIC, the irresponsibility of AIPAC and the unprincipled opportunism of the political class, it is almost impossible for the US President to act rationally.

Posted by: bevin | Dec 12, 2013 10:40:31 PM | 22

' The US position is very difficult: it lacks the freedom to act sensibly ... '

There are only 546 Americans who 'lack the freedom to act sensibly' ... and of course they lack not freedom but will.

Posted by: john francis lee | Dec 12, 2013 10:46:26 PM | 23

Harry@18 I agree entirely.

john francis lee @23 You are right, too. 546 of them and not a Wayne Morse or even a Fulbright or a Burton Wheeler or a George Norris or a Dennis Kucinich among them. Has there ever been a Congress as bad as this one is?

Posted by: bevin | Dec 12, 2013 11:00:54 PM | 24

"Much of the politics that is going on here is not visible so it is difficult to see the moves, especially for those who do not live in the States."


Lol, an illiterate sheperd in Patagonia has more insight into US Politics than most Merkins.

Posted by: ruralito | Dec 12, 2013 11:07:44 PM | 25

@18 Harry, I understand the point that you make, and I'm not under no illusions regarding the venal nature of western countries.

And I agree: so far Obama has managed the impressive trick of making the US sanctions (which, remember, are entirely unilateral) stick, and in imposing discipline amongst the P5+1 in particular and the wider world in general.

And, yes, part of that discipline is fear of being targeted should they break ranks, thereby incurring the wrath of the USA.

But what if the USA's behaviour becomes *so* irrational that there isn't just one or two bolters, but instead there is a stampede for the door?

What if the BRICs all bolt at once?

Because - let's face it - cutting off Brazil, Russia, India and China from the US market would be the very dictionary definition of "cutting off your nose to spite your face".

A lot of the Obama administration's recent backflips don't make much sense, which means that there must be something going on behind the scenes that the commentators are simply missing.

I suspect very much that what they are missing is this: the current US-imposed sanctions regime is close to breaking point, and there are An Awful Lot Of Countries who are all watching the P5+1 very closely for signs of dissent amongst the ranks.

So much so that if the P5+1 descends into a squabbling rabble (and we came really, really close to that last time) then all those countries will take that as the signal to bolt, and they'll all bolt together.

Heck, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe. But if that's the case then there has to be some other reason why Kerry was so keen to see this interim deal signed, and why the Obama Administration is fighting so hard to stop the Congress from pissing all over it.


Posted by: Johnboy | Dec 13, 2013 12:23:01 AM | 26

bevin @ 22 Text "What with the greed of the MIC, the irresponsibility of AIPAC and the unprincipled opportunism of the political class, it is almost impossible for the US President to act rationally."

can someone tell me what harpers excuse is? same deal?

Posted by: james | Dec 13, 2013 12:42:50 AM | 27

There's a simple explanation for this silly piece of theatre. The dumbass Yankees are going to have to start backing away from their bs. It would be too much to expect such clowns to (suddenly, without warning) back away from their old bullshit. So they're making up some new bullshit to back away from - just to get the (back-off) ball rolling. They're probably hoping no-one will notice. But a back-off is a back-off and only the spin tank crowd will have the gall to pretend not to notice, by denying that the back-off is a back-off.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 13, 2013 1:06:51 AM | 28

18)
Iran is not any country, but a very strategic space with the potential of controlling the Gulf and with access/cultural links to India and Afghanistan, owning a large amount of the world's oil and gas reserves.

So - Russia and China will do their best to prevent the West from gaining influence by war or by treaty. You are right, sanctions on Iran's oil industry are okay for them, however China and India do buy oil from Iran for presumably reduced costs. Basically US sanctions help China to get oil paying with Chinese products, a better deal for Chinese development than getting devaluating dollars for Chinese products.

Iran's interest is to balance the world powers for its own independence.

The West's regime change strategy has failed in Egypt, Libya and in Syria - what they got was a mess and they are now in the position to have to be grateful to Assad for cleaning up.

So "the West's" options are reduced to gaining influence by treaty.

It is very unlikely Saudi Arabia and Israel have the influence and power to force "the West" to act against "the West's" strategic and economic interest.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 13, 2013 3:39:14 AM | 29

new zealand citizen stripped of phone after returning from London where attended talk about Snowden and released documents
http://www.newsforage.com/2013/12/new-zealand-citizen-stripped-of-phone.html
shades of the Bolivia plane incident : another state controlled by US

Posted by: brian | Dec 13, 2013 6:17:53 AM | 30

James@27
Harper is actively courting the Canadian Jewish voters and donors, who are significantly more zionist than the American jewish population. It's a crucial constituency for him.

Posted by: Knut | Dec 13, 2013 7:20:28 AM | 31

Posted by: Knut | Dec 13, 2013 7:20:28 AM | 31

donors are far more important in a free market society

Posted by: brian | Dec 13, 2013 7:37:34 AM | 32

James@27
Knut has it right: Harper's comes from a very right wing (social credit) party which sabotaged and then took over the Conservative Party. The crypto fascist and anti-semitic traditions he represents were poisonous in Canada's Jewish communities. So, in order to get critical support from donors-always in the cards because his right wing economic policies appeal to them- he aligned himself with the most right wing zionist elements. In effect he defied the Jewish liberal majority just when they were moving rightwards in droves.
The major effect of his policies has been to shift the debate to the right: nowadays both the Liberal and NDP (Blairites) are either vocal supporters of Likud or told to keep their mouths shut.

Posted by: bevin | Dec 13, 2013 8:32:33 AM | 33

Results from the crazy U.S. move are in

Iran quits nuclear talks protesting US blacklist move

Tehran (AFP) - Iran has quit nuclear talks with the major powers, accusing Washington on Friday of going against the spirit of a landmark agreement reached last month by expanding its sanctions blacklist.

A spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who represents the powers in the talks, said both sides had headed home for consultations and that she expected the talks to resume soon.

But Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi said the US move went against the spirit of the deal struck in Geneva under which the powers undertook to impose no further sanctions for six months and Tehran was weighing the "appropriate response".

"America's move is against the spirit of the Geneva deal," Araqchi told the Fars news agency as his team headed back to Tehran from Vienna.

"We are evaluating the situation and will make the appropriate response," he said.
...
Iranian negotiators quit the implementation talks late on their fourth day Thursday after Washington blacklisted a dozen companies and individuals for evading US sanctions.

Mehr news agency quoted informed sources as saying the "new American sanctions" were the reason for the interruption.

"The negotiations were halted by Iranian delegation because of new American sanctions. The Iranian negotiating team has halted the talks at this stage and are headed back to the capital due to America's lack of commitment to the agreement," Mehr reported.

Make no mistake. This was the result of AIPAC pressure:

Under the Geneva deal, Washington agreed to refrain from imposing new sanctions on Iran.

But senior administration officials argued that Thursday's blacklistings were carried out within the framework of the existing sanctions regime which had forced Tehran to the negotiating table and did not constitute new measures.

The blacklisting of a dozen additional foreign firms and individuals for evading US sanctions was widely seen as a move to head off moves in Congress to impose additional sanctions that would be in clear breach of the Geneva agreement.

Administration officials insisted the timing was entirely coincidental.

But just hours afterwards, Senate banking committee chairman Tim Johnson and the committee's top Republican Michael Crapo agreed with the White House that Washington should not introduce new sanctions, warning they could "rupture" international unity against Tehran's nuclear programme.

The comments virtually assured that no new sanctions legislation would pass Congress before the year-end break, although lawmakers could controversially introduce a new sanctions bill within the next week.

"A new round of US sanctions now could rupture the unity of the international coalition against Iran's nuclear programme," Johnson said.

Those blacklisted on Thursday included the Singapore-based Mid Oil Asia and Singa Tankers, both companies accused of helping Iran transfer badly needed funds to a foreign bank on behalf of the National Iranian Tanker Company.

Ukrainian national Vitaly Sokolenko and his Odessa-based firm Ferland Company Limited were cited for helping to broker the sales of Iranian oil and transfer the crude from ship to ship.

Posted by: b | Dec 13, 2013 9:04:20 AM | 34

The fools are the technocrats in Tehran who believe in all the BS that come out of the Whitehouse. The principalists will have the reformists for breakfast if this latest sanctions are not revoked by Obama. For years, those reformists have been accusing the pricipalists of their hardline stands against the US and how their bad diplomacy's ruined Iran's economy.Well, now they have it.

One thing is also clear, Obama is not in charge of the daily affairs of US government. For how could some organization impose sanctions while at the same time Obama is seemingly busy trying to make a deal with Iran?

Posted by: Zico | Dec 13, 2013 9:17:02 AM | 35

So, if these reports are correct, and they probably are, on the Iranian side the situation is that, once more the "reformists" with their neo-liberal policies and their readiness to cede the US hegemony, are discredited.
"We did our best." they will say "We offered them everything, too much many said. We risked everything for peace. And the US stabbed us in the back, virtually as we were leaving the Conference room. It must be in their DNA."
The net result in Iran will be to discredit the "reformists" as appeasers ready to surrender. This will greatly strengthen the Resistance.

Beyond Iran how viable now are sanctions?
While there is some truth in the point, made above, that some BRIC's are happy to be lapping up Iranian discounts for avoiding sanctions, the point has been reached at which to continue sanctions will weaken Iran and make its defeat, and subsequent inclusion in the Imperial system, more likely. For Russia, Iran's surrender would expose it to great dangers. Its interest is to lift the sanctions and assist Iran. The same can be said, roughly, of China.
So, sanctions will begin to crumble.
Will the US attack Iran? Will it allow Israel to do so?
I doubt it, such an attack would be very dangerous. The Israeli fascists have a death wish but the US is not likely to take the risk of allowing them to indulge it.

Posted by: bevin | Dec 13, 2013 10:59:17 AM | 36

The deal isn't necessarily up in smoke. Administration officials justified the new sanctions yesterday by saying that the Geneva deal with Iran hasn't actually been signed yet and that adding companies to the blacklist was just some old housekeeping. Iran's leaving the table is part of the negotiations. Too much is at stake to blow up the whole deal over a few parts suppliers and Singapore shipping companies.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Dec 13, 2013 11:53:53 AM | 37

37) Agree. However, someone has to reconcile, I wonder who that will be? EU countries sure are lining up for business with Iran.
In the meantime, all kind of political fun goes on - like the Egyptian delegation to Iran. This here is Iran's take on the Egyptian delegation.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 13, 2013 12:09:00 PM | 38

This whole sanctions thing is one big bonanza for American crony companies. Only allowing your friends to trade and block the competition. Disgusting, as usual.

Posted by: Cynthia | Dec 13, 2013 3:18:38 PM | 39


“So, if these reports are correct, and they probably are, on the Iranian side the situation is that, once more the "reformists" with their neo-liberal policies and their readiness to cede the US hegemony, are discredited.”
Posted by: bevin |

to add, Ay. Khamenie by promoting the 'heroic flexibility' policy has in effect minimized the 'fractures' IRI polity and thus exploited the fractures polity of US. This will in-effect unite the Iranian front and further weaken the int. sanctions.

Posted by: Rd. | Dec 13, 2013 3:26:16 PM | 40

Slightly OT but as it's only his recent stop in his World Mayhem Tour:

John Mutha Fuckin' McCain insane in the Ukraine!!!

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/12/13/exclusive-mccain-flies-to-ukraine-as-protests-rage.html

USA!!! USA!!! USA!!!

I'm sure the Ukrainians people would be glad to know that McChurian also visited the "rebels" in Libya before we destroyed that sovereign nation AND visited the "rebels" in Syria while we destroyed that sovereign nation.

Awesum!!! Smell the freedom Ukrainian fuckers!!!!

Please please someone stop this effing parade of embarrassing war criminality and either snuff these mfers or toss them into a well.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Dec 13, 2013 9:09:56 PM | 41

As of this a.m., their time, the Iranians have declared the 'deal' defunct. Jackass Kerry is doing his usual hand-waving drivel and pretending "some folks just feel the need for a short break" or something, but it's kaput, or as the french say, caduc.

BEVIN! Bevin, alas, why must you generate these clouds of pink steam?

Harper's comes from a very right wing (social credit) party which sabotaged and then took over the Conservative Party. The crypto fascist and anti-semitic traditions he represents were poisonous in Canada's Jewish communities. So, in order to get critical support from donors-always in the cards because his right wing economic policies appeal to them- he aligned himself with the most right wing zionist elements. In effect he defied the Jewish liberal majority just when they were moving rightwards in droves.

"Crypto fascist" and "anti semitic" "social credit", you have been taking the ZOG quaaludes. Social credit may be wrong, in fact it is wrong, and doubtless Major Douglas, its inventor, spent many a happy hour at his club playing cribbage with Sir Oswald Mosley, but all this is nevertheless irrelevant. There is not as much difference between Social Credit and Keynesianism as you might think. They both revolve around the idea that if new fiat money creates new businesses and expands the economy, then it can undo its own otherwise inflationary effects. There is nothing "anti-semitic" about this, whoever says it. What I assume your ZOG masters are complaining about is the asseveration that most or all top international central bankers are Jews. But maybe they are. Who can tell?

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Dec 13, 2013 11:35:02 PM | 42

f you tweet PUTINl what you get are wall to wall attacks, esp by shameless americans, upset US hasnt been able to attack syria.

HRW attacks president Putin : Kenneth Roth @KenRoth 5h
Putin's promotion of "traditional values" is way for him to concoct & impose his view of "the will of the majority." http://trib.al/vOHz7SE ................HRW and Roth are upset with Putin preventing a direct US attack on syria.Human Rights is gets a bad name when HRW supports islamic terror war on syria and Libya

Posted by: brian | Dec 14, 2013 12:28:47 AM | 43

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