Obama Administration Prepares Iran Sanction Options

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Monday, December 21, 2009 at 6:00 am
President Obama accepts the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo on Dec. 10. (Guido Ohlenbostel/Action Press/ZUMA Press)

President Obama accepts the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo on Dec. 10. (Guido Ohlenbostel/Action Press/ZUMA Press)

A year’s worth of diplomatic outreach to Iran is on the verge of eclipse, thanks to consistent Iranian refusals to accept President Obama’s offers for a new relationship. As a result, Obama administration officials and their international partners are preparing a package of economic sanctions against Iran for 2010. They prefer to work through the United Nations Security Council, but are prepared to work around it if necessary. Absent a major diplomatic breakthrough in the next few days,new  sanctions are considered a near inevitability.

Two senior administration officials, Undersecretary of the Treasury Stuart Levey and Undersecretary of State William Burns, have for months quietly assembled working groups across the government to determine what a sanctions package might contain. The groups examine Iranian vulnerabilities across a variety of economic sectors, “everything from energy to IRGC [the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, an influential and ideological branch of the Iranian military] to financial sector” activity, said a knowledgeable U.S. official who requested anonymity to discuss the unsettled contours of administration policy. The House of Representatives last week approved a bill giving Obama new authority to enact additional unilateral sanctions on Iran’s energy imports.

[Security1]The goal of the new sanctions will be “what is doable” in terms of attracting international support, the U.S. official said, and what “can change Iranian behavior,” particularly over Iran’s nuclear program, which the United States and its allies fear is designed to yield a nuclear weapon.

The U.S. has placed a variety of trade sanctions on Iran ever since a largely anti-American regime came to power in Iran in 1979. Those sanctions have failed to moderate or influence Iranian behavior, largely because they are uncoordinated with Iran’s trading partners — something the Obama administration wishes to rectify with new multilateral sanctions. As much as Obama has said he wanted to explore a new relationship with Iran, Obama said also that even unsuccessful good-faith diplomatic outreach would help bring reluctant nations in line with more punitive U.S. measures. “If we show ourselves willing to talk and to offer carrots and sticks in order to deal with these pressing problems — and if Iran then rejects any overtures of that sort — it puts us in a stronger position to mobilize the international community to ratchet up pressure on Iran,” he said in Israel in April 2008.

In late November, the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Board of Governors voted to censure Iran for its lack of transparency over the program, a move seen as a prelude to a concerted international sanctions effort. Both China and Russia, the two permanent members of the U.N. Security Council least traditionally inclined toward punitive measures on Iran, voted for the censure.

Unless the Iranians unexpectedly accept a deal pushed by the U.S. and its allies before the end of the year to reprocess most of its uranium into a form unsuitable for a weapon, the sanctions push will begin in February, when France, whose government has harshly criticized Iranian nuclear intransigence, assumes its presidency of the Security Council. Still, it is unclear whether the United States and its allies will be able to secure Chinese and Russian support for the sanctions. “The administration is more optimistic than in the past and thinks we’ve moved them in the right direction,” said a U.S. official, who still declined to predict that the two countries would support sanctions.

According to both U.S. and European diplomats, a move in the Security Council authorizing sanctions — or even merely condemning Iran on its nuclear activities — would clear the way for a coalition of nations to enforce a sanctions package. A European diplomat who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the Security Council resolution itself was as important as convincing Iran’s major trading partners to back sanctions.

“Iran’s trade partners, particularly the EU, will add their own layers of sanctions,” the diplomat said. “Some countries will want at least a Security Council resolution to take their own sanctions,” naming South Korea, Japan and the United Arab Emirates. Those countries, along with the European Union, China, India and Russia, make up the vast majority of Iran’s international trading partners.

Among the most controversial of Obama’s positions in the 2008 presidential campaign was his pledge to pursue diplomacy without preconditions with traditional U.S. adversaries like Iran. That effort included at least one private letter from Obama addressed personally to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme Iranian leader, but was met only with rebuke. Administration officials had said throughout 2009 that they were pursuing a “dual track” approach to Iran — diplomatic outreach, combined with more punitive measures in the event outreach was unrequited — but the U.S. official admitted it was bitter to come to terms with Iranian rejection.

“It was disappointing,” the official said. “But the thing is that after the June 12th election, everyone was pretty skeptical.” The regime’s willingness to steal the June presidential election not only made it unlikely that it would accept a more productive relationship with the international community, the official continued, but “people were generally much less excited about engagement because it was so much more unsavory.”

Iranian dissident leaders have been vocal about their rejection of new international sanctions, fearing that the regime will use them as an excuse for additional pressure on the opposition. In response to a question from TWI about Iranian popular rejection of the sanctions, Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), the chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, conceded that sanctions would harm the Iranian people but did not believe that harm should prevent the U.S. from sanctioning Iran. “The notion that you are going to have effective sanctions that don’t impact on the Iranian people, I don’t understand what that means,” said Berman, who sponsored a bill that overwhelmingly passed the House Tuesday giving Obama authority to place new unilateral sanctions on Iran.

But the U.S. official conceded that even sanctions focusing on the finances of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps could still have deleterious and problematic effects on the Iranian people. “It’s a fair critique,” the official said, since sanctions are “an imperfect tool.”

Even if the still-undesigned sanctions package attracts widespread international support, it is still unclear how it would compel the Iranian leadership to give up any unacknowledged ambition for nuclear weapons, and the U.S. official said it also unclear at this point what the Obama administration would consider a successful outcome. The European diplomat framed military action against Iran in opposition to the sanctions, not as their inevitable successor. “Some are afraid sanctions are a first step toward a more confrontational mode, but in fact all Europeans have the view that sanctions are a way of avoiding escalation,” the diplomat said. For years, the Israelis have threatened to attack Iran over its nuclear program.

But the Obama administration has not fully given up on the idea of a diplomatic breakthrough. “Sanctions without outreach – and condemnation without discussion – can carry forward a crippling status quo,” Obama said when accepting the Nobel Peace Prize on Dec. 10. “No repressive regime can move down a new path unless it has the choice of an open door.”

Obama did not specifically mention Iran in his speech, but the speech nevertheless gave a window into the administration’s thinking. “The door will always remain open,” the U.S. official said. “Sanctions are not an end onto itself. They are a means to an end of changing Iranian behavior and the administration is very aware of the trap of falling into a situation where sanctions become the goal and we forget the real goal.”

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triathlon
Comment posted December 22, 2009 @ 6:54 pm

AN EMPIRE AND [EU] PERPETUAL PEACE STRATEGY

[EUROPE THE WESTERN EMPIRE HALF]

Now, the question is if the [EU] European Union is now the Eastern half of the Empire, with Brussels the New Constantinople and does its existence guarantees the national sovereignty, of each individual state within the European Union, A Perpetual Peace created through a universal monarchy, spanning the globe which is hopelessly naïve; such a monarchy couldn’t possibly remain as a nice, friendly, constitutional one but would inevitably need to become despotism, as Lord Acton wrote, All power, corrupts; and absolute power corrupts absolutely, this model has been tried before, the logic goes;

A. Democracy by State = Democracy by Population

B. Brussels = Washington, [D.C.] District of Columbia

C. The House of Representatives= the European Parliament

D. The Senate = the Council of Ministers.

E. [NATO] the North Atlantic Treaty Organization = [MIC] the Military Industrial Complex of the American-Israeli Empire.

[EUROPE & THE UNITED STATES A TWO PART EMPIRE]

[The Western American-Israeli]

With its capital Washington, the District of Columbia, [ROME], is a nation-state – that's [1] one nation, [1] one state, [1] One Republic; from which no State within that Republic is allowed to Secede, vote to leave the American-Israeli Empire by any means, you are an American or a foreigner, period. Such as the Republic of California the France of the North American Continent can no longer return to the status of being an independent Republic forced to remain in the Union.

[The European Union]

With its capital Brussels, [Constantinople] would be different in that the European Western half of the Empire states would maintain their national sovereignty, culture, demography, history, languages, tradition, values, and the freedom to withdraw from the [EU], making it a more Confederation of Nations, much like California the France of The American Continent, open shops concerning Unions, your not forced to either join nor participate in the Union, it is the individuals choice and the same applies to the [EU], but if a nation upon the European Continent elects to be a member there are standards which must be met.

[COMMISSIONERS VS SENATORS]

[Commissioners]

In the European Union half of the Empire Two [2] Representative given the title Commissioners are appointed per each [Sovereign] nation, to act as their proxies, gives attendance flexibility and other advantages, If national governments change, so do the Commissioners with no charades about representing a European Republic, but the interests of their nation within the [EU]. The citizens of each Republic are not therefore put into a deontological agenda of rendering unto this loose federation of republics their loyalty, but remain loyal to their own Republic within the [European Union Sphere of Influence]. Commissioners represent their individual Governments within in the [EU], European Commissioners act in their countries self interests first, and Brussels [EU] capitals second, that's what they are there for.

[Senators]:

In the American-Israeli half of the Empire Two [2] are elected by the citizens of each individual state the representatives are given the title Senator, to act as their representatives from the central government to the states government from the central government, with no attendance flexibility and other advantages, if the make up of the state government changes the Senators remain the same, and remain the representatives of the central government to that state, representing, the interests of central government Washington, D. C., with their loyalty too the central government first, and acting in the interest of the central government first and the state that elected them second.

[NATO MOMENTURM THRU COMPROMISE]

[NATO] North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, a former head of a minority government, of a small country, within the European Union, and despite having been in the office of Secretary General [NATO] for only five months, has already developed an action plan defining his position, to bring new momentum to the mission of [NATO], as a mediator with the responsibility to develop compromises, within democratically governed nations opposed to waging war when opposed by a majority of their populations, using a new strategy based upon enhancing cooperation. In a [10] ten year period the [NATO] alliance members has almost doubled strengthening and intensifying [NATO] thru a continued expansion via an open door policy made clear by the decision in Bucharest in [2008], every European country having the right to become a member of [NATO], with the all European Nations viewed as future members based upon fulfilling the necessary criteria for membership, including the Russia Federation, the Republics of Georgia and Ukraine, thru the open door policy which Secretary General totally supports.

[NATO NEW STRATEGIC CONCEPT]

The new mission of [NATO] is the establishing of Western-style democracies around the globe, with organization members having joint interests everywhere, new threats have arisen and missions have developed that no one could have imagined within the past decade, fighting against the new forms of state based and non-state based terrorism, preventing the acquisition of [WMD’s] weapons of mass destruction with missiles or other deliver systems, cyber warfare, the threat posed by pirates, faced with all the challenges of the [21st] Century The Secretary General felt [NATO] must find a response to these challenges, and therefore [NATO], Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, requested a comprehensive new strategic concept for [NATO], replacing a decade old strategy. One in which response will be based upon individual offensive decisions intentionally targeting suspected enemies of the Empire even when they do not pose a direct threat, that is, are not involved in belligerent actions, as long as warlike conditions exist in any areas of [NATO] operations. The mission of [NATO] will be invested in the establishing of Western-style democracies in these regions and states, with a transitional exit strategy based upon gaining the trust of the people, a gradual transfer of power, turning over control, district by district, province by province and can only be completed when these countries have proven their capable of governing their country, guaranteeing not only their security, but that of the Empire, and will require that troops of occupation remain within a country or region, for undetermined amounts of time to ensure their stability. And to that purpose, on [Jan. 28th] European governments representatives will meet in the [U.K.] United Kingdom, London, too show their solidarity based upon terms of sharing the burden, and interest of [NATO’s] and the Empire.

HERCULE TRIATHLON SAVINIEN


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In the European Union half of the Empire Two [2] Representative given the title Commissioners are appointed per each [Sovereign] nation, to act as their proxies, gives attendance flexibility and other advantages, If national governments change, so do the Commissioners with no charades about representing a European Republic, but the interests of their nation within the [EU]. The citizens of each Republic are not therefore put into a deontological agenda of rendering unto this loose federation of republics their loyalty, but remain loyal to their own Republic within the [European Union Sphere of Influence]. Commissioners represent their individual Governments within in the [EU], European Commissioners act in their countries self interests first, and Brussels [EU] capitals second, that's what they are there for.


ilona@israel
Comment posted December 27, 2009 @ 2:41 pm

actually i find this solution of iran nuclear programm with the help of sanctions pretty problematic. who will suffer most? innocernt citizens. who are already against its goverment policy. what about mr. ahmadinejad-he will be safe and sound using licht gaz and whatever he wants. maybe it would be great to overthrouw him, but previous expierenses proves that there is no sence…after one fanatic death there are hundred another fanatics ready to take his place…


ilona@israel
Comment posted December 27, 2009 @ 7:41 pm

actually i find this solution of iran nuclear programm with the help of sanctions pretty problematic. who will suffer most? innocernt citizens. who are already against its goverment policy. what about mr. ahmadinejad-he will be safe and sound using licht gaz and whatever he wants. maybe it would be great to overthrouw him, but previous expierenses proves that there is no sence…after one fanatic death there are hundred another fanatics ready to take his place…


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Those countries, along with the European Union, China, India and Russia, make up the vast majority of Iran’s international trading partners.

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