Saturday, October 27, 2007

Iran & Temper Tantrums

Oh great, Iran got another sanction timeout again from the temperamental US Commander in Chief announced by Secretary spokesmodels, Condoleeza Rice and Henry Paulson. The US has no diplomatic babysitting ties with the toddler with nuclear ambitions. Kyl-Lieberman was the US Congress' effort at diplomacy that is particularly laughable. 70% of the US senators, including an obviously mesmerized by the shiny war machinery presidential wannabe Hillary Clinton, voted on a non-binding "sense of the senate" resolution to make a section of Iran's military, the Revolutionary Guard, a terrorist group. Usually, it helps to show you mean it if you are going to be that tepidly forceful to go with stern stuff stamped Official. It was so bad for Hillary in getting hoodwinked again by the Bush warmongering, she snail mailed explanations to the politically savvy voters in Iowa. They don't get the rationale behind that vote. Count on the national press to say she's ahead - only Iowa isn't sold on her embrace of the American sabre-rattling. (photo Xinhua/Reuters)
The message to Iowa voters, contained in an envelope promising an "important letter from Hillary inside", indicates she feels vulnerable on the Iran issue, particularly because of her 2002 vote to authorise the Iraq invasion.

She was the only Democratic candidate who voted for a resolution last month that called on Mr Bush to list the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist group.

"Only then did I and a lot of other Democrats vote for the resolution in order to pressure Iran by clearing the way for sanctions and pushing the President to get them to the negotiating table." (emphasis mine/ AP Photo)
Iran is a problem. But they have more clout now because since 2001, America junked the diplomacy business and drove up the revenues, profits and "prominence" of defense contracting businesses and oil companies. Oil companies are having their best decades ever. Bush spoke to his sanctions and the price of oil is skyrocketing to a $100 bucks a barrel. Iran is hedging the bets topu out at $120 per barrel. Europe is weighing its next move with Iran.

The sanctions, which will be imposed against Iran's Defense Ministry, its Revolutionary Guard Corps and more than 20 Iranian companies, banks and individuals, are the most extensive since Washington and Tehran severed their diplomatic relations in 1980.

Observers believe that the new sanctions will surely cause further inconvenience in Iran's import-export businesses and affect its investment environment in the long run, but under the current circumstances, the unilateral measures have little impact in isolating Iran from outside world and changing its policy.

Since the United States and Iran have no direct business contacts, the sanctions will have no practical significance.

Although Washington also warns against foreign banks and companies doing business with Iran, the Islamic Republic still has extensive economic ties with many countries, including Russia and elsewhere in Europe.

Iran has a history with US meddling in its internal affairs sine 1925 when Kermit Roosevelt (yes one of those Roosevelts) took part in an overthrow of the royal line. In 1953, the US with the CIA's Kermit Roosevelt again playing a significant role orchestrated the overthrow of a popular individual - who earned Time's Man of the Year honors to place their Shah in place. In 1979, the hostage crisis emanated partially from earlier US meddling. This important history is recapped in an excellent book and primer on the Iran crisis by Mark Bowden in Guests of the Ayatollah - The Iran Hostage Crisis: The First Battle in America's War with Militant Islam.

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