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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Sanctions working?

After a meeting with 'defense minister' Amir Comrade Peretz, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced yesterday that sanctions against Iran are 'working.' Peretz had no response. Maybe Peretz was sleeping?


At 6:14 PM, Blogger Lois Koenig said...

He should wear sunglasses so he wouldn't be such an embarrasment. Wait a minute! I've got it! He didn't have his requisite lens covers on his binoculars!

At 4:28 PM, Blogger Dave in Pa. said...

Here's two informative excerpts from an article at a website I highly recommend, Strategy Page, at www.strategy page.com -

"It was believed that Iran grabbed the 15 British sailors and marines in order to obtain the release of Iranian officials captured in Iraq over the last few months. One Iranian diplomat, earlier arrested by Iraqi police, was released. But the U.S. announced that it wasn't releasing any of the Iranians it held. This did not go down well in Iran, and was a humiliation as well. Iran was trying to show the local Arabs how tough Iran was, but the Americans just said, "so what?" Arabs in the region are now openly mocking Iran for the failure to accomplish anything by kidnapping the British sailors and marines."

Even more significant -

"Iran is feeling the effects of a quiet U.S. campaign to cripple their access to the international financial system. The U.S. Treasury Department has been tracking down Iranian use of this system, and telling the non-Iranian banks to back off, or suffer American sanctions. The Iranians are helpless, and furious, in the face of this campaign. Most frustrating is that they cannot attack it with a media campaign, as there's nothing more boring, to a propagandist, than the international banking system. No way to get traction with something like that."

It'd be hard to overstate the significance of the implications of the latter quote. The US and allied nations are not just sitting on their hands vis a vis Iran. There is massive capital flight from Iran; they cannot get many international projects started or others continued because of unavailability of international financing; unemployment and unrest are increasing; Iranian oil production is declining (and has been for several years), for the same lack of financing of development and even access to certain highly specialized oilfield equipment that is only manufactured in the US and Canada.

This is smart. This is economic warfare, successfully using one of the West's major strengths, against one of the Mullah Dictatorship's major weaknesses.


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