Powered by WebAds

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

How the EU could get tough with Iran

With the European Union apparently about to follow in the United States' footsteps and impose additional sanctions against Iran, Emanuele Ottolenghi and Mark Dubowitz explains how Europe can get it right (for those without Journal access, full article is also here).
For years, Europe has been criticized for its lucrative business deals with a regime that threatens Israel with nuclear annihilation, sponsors terror around the globe, and brutalizes its own population. Now, the rest of the world will be watching how the EU expands on June's new round of U.N. sanctions, in both substance and implementation. The EU is Iran's largest trading partner, so whatever it does will become a "ceiling" particularly for Gulf and Asian countries that are unlikely to do more.

That's why it's so important that Europe finally gets it right. Like comparable U.S. measures, the new EU sanctions will target Iran's energy industry, the regime's lifeblood. The problem is that when it comes to Iran, the EU has so far drawn a distinction between ostensibly legitimate Iranian businesses and those involved in procurement and proliferation for the state's nuclear and missile programs. But by using its own sanctions against Burma as a precedent, the EU could now target any publicly owned Iranian companies regardless of whether they directly contribute to proliferation.

The EU's sanctions against Burma's military junta focus simply on any company owned by the state or regime officials and their families, whose revenues help to keep the junta in power. The U.N.'s recent resolution provides the political cover for a similar approach against Tehran by emphasizing in its preamble "the potential connection between Iran's revenues derived from its energy sector and the funding of Iran's proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities."

By designating specific companies and individuals in Iran's energy industry as well as their overseas procurement branches active in energy-related, nuclear-proliferation and missile activities, the EU could deny vital revenues to companies whose profits and access to foreign technology are critical to Iran's nuclear ambitions. Given that Iran's energy business is wholly owned by state companies; and that many enterprises in its energy-service industry are linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (a key player in the regime's nuclear activities and internal repression efforts), a proper EU blacklist would have to be quite exhaustive.
Read the whole thing. It's a fascinating list.

It's a shame that it's taken so long for the World to wake up to the menace of Iran. Is it too late to stop them? We won't know if we don't try. According to a picture accompanying this article in Tuesday's JPost, the sanctions are having an effect. But that may still be too little too late. And the fact that the P 5+1 is having another negotiating session with Iran in September is not a good sign.


Post a Comment

<< Home