US Senate votes UNANIMOUSLY to sanction foreign financial institutions that do business with Iran's Central BankIn addition to being long overdue and the right thing to do, the unanimous vote in the US Senate on Thursday to sanction Iran's Central Bank represents a stunning defeat for US President Barack Hussein Obama.
The US Senate unanimously approved tougher sanctions against Iran on Thursday, voting to penalize foreign financial institutions that do business with Iran's central bank, the main conduit for its oil revenues.100-0. No abstentions. No one voting present as Obama was prone to doing when he was in the Senate. It doesn't get any more resounding than that.
The Senate acted despite warnings from Obama administration officials who said threatening US allies might not be the best way to get their cooperation in action against Iran.
Administration officials said they were indeed looking to sanction Iran's central bank, but in a calibrated manner, to avoid roiling oil markets or antagonizing allies.
The Senate voted 100-0 for an amendment sponsored by Senator Robert Menendez, a Democrat, and Senator Mark Kirk, a Republican, that would allow the US president to sanction foreign banks found to have carried out a "significant financial transaction with the Central Bank of Iran."
The sanctions were approved as an amendment to a huge defense bill that passed later on Thursday in the Senate. Similar provisions have passed a House of Representatives committee, increasing the likelihood that some version will be sent to Obama for his signature into law -- or possible veto.Let him dare to try to veto it.... In fact, I think the Senate gave him too much already.
The Senate amendment provides a six-month grace period before sanctions would kick in for petroleum transactions with Iran's Central Bank, a move that appeared designed to give world oil markets time to adjust.I think the calculation is that Obama won't dare to invoke 'national security' at the height of an election campaign and run the risk of watching Iran develop a nuclear weapon during the run-up to November. The 'most pro-Israel President evah'? Is anyone still fooled by him?
It includes a "waiver" letting the president suspend the sanctions if he deems it vital to US national security.
Meanwhile, US and Israeli delegations, headed by US Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns and Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon, met Thursday in Washington to continue the semi-annual US-Israel Strategic Dialogue.How much longer are our diplomats going to continue to allow Obama to save face by making statements like that? The man is a Jew-hater and it's time to call him one.
The Strategic Dialogue is an opportunity for the United States and Israel to discuss at a senior level the issues that affect our mutual security and partnership.
"Israel and the United States are completely coordinated in their positions vis-à-vis Iran," Ayalon told reporters after the meeting.
"The dialogue was productive and thorough, and I expect to see results in the upcoming weeks," he said.
Israeli Ambassador to Washington Michael Oren added that "the Americans are determined to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons and we trust the determination of President Obama."
In a statement following the meeting, US Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns noted: "Iran’s continued noncompliance with its international obligations related to its nuclear program, as well as its continued support for terrorist organizations, are of grave concern to our two countries and the entire international community.
"Continued efforts by the international community are critical to bringing about change in Iranian behavior and preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapons capability," the statement read.