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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Why sanctions against Iran don't work: Exhibit C - USA

While the numbers for US exports to Iran are nowhere near as ominous as those of Germany or Italy - $546 million (directly) during the Bush years - the quality of those exports makes it appear that US violations of the sanctions are almost as important to Iran's continued functioning as the European violations.
Sanctions are intended in part to frustrate Iran's efforts to develop its military, but the U.S. government's own figures show at least $148,000 worth of unspecified weapons and other military gear were exported from the United States to Iran during Bush's time in office. That includes $106,635 in military rifles and $8,760 in rifle parts and accessories shipped in 2004, the data show.

Also shipped to Iran were at least $13,000 in aircraft launching gear and/or deck arrestors, equipment needed to launch and recover jets on aircraft carriers, according to U.S. records. Iran's navy is not believed to own or operate any carriers.

Those numbers seem small, but military items can sell for pennies on the dollar compared with what the Pentagon paid. Last year, federal agents seized four F-14 fighter jets sold to domestic buyers by an officer at a California naval air station for $2,000 to $4,000 each, with proceeds benefiting a squadron recreation fund. When F-14s were new, they cost roughly $38 million each.
At $2000 a pop, that would be 74 F-14 fighter jets - a not-insignificant number. But that's just the direct sales. Al-AP reports that until new legislation was passed this year, Iran was able to acquire surplus replacement parts for F-14's by having China and other countries purchase them on its behalf. Last week, two men were indicted in Florida on charges that they shipped U.S. military aircraft parts to Iran. The parts included F-14 Tomcat and attack-helicopter parts.

It will also interest you to hear that the US has also exported significant numbers of bras and significant amounts of bull semen to Iran. I kid you not.

Al-AP has a lengthy report on US exports to Iran. Read the whole thing.


At 12:04 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

If Israel had that kind of trade with Teheran, Israel would too be looking for an excuse to do nothing. I'm just glad she doesn't have it.

At 11:33 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


Four words: Pistachio nuts and oil.


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