Last Thursday President Barack Obama signed into law new U.S. sanctions on Iran that would prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives approved the sanctions last week aiming to discourage Iran’s development of nuclear weapons.
The sanctions target companies that sell refined petroleum products to Iran and international banks that do business with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard. The deicision came after President Obama’s nuclear security summit mid-Spring with national leaders worldwide.
These new sanctions on Iran have been the strongest sanctions to date passed by the U.N. Security Council against Iran. The Council also informs that Australia, the European Union and Canada also have taken or are considering stronger steps to further isolate Iran’s nuclear program and supporting entities.
When asked about the toughest sanctions ever passed by the United States, President Obama said, “Consistent with the Security Council mandate, this legislation strengthens existing sanctions, authorizes new ones and supports our multilateral diplomatic strategy to address Iran’s nuclear programs.”
According to President Obama, these new sanctions will make it harder for the Iraninan government to purchase the goods, services, and materials needed to modernize its oil and natural gas sector. It will also make it harder for the Revolutionary Guards and banks that support Iran’s nuclear programs and illegal activities to participate in international finance.
As mentioned in the new sanctions, any company seeking procurement contracts with the United States will have to certify that they are not doing illegal business with Iran first. These requirements and strict limitations by the President seek to isolate Iran and implement strict consequences as long as it continues to work towards developing its nuclear programs.
“These sanctions are striking at the heart of the Iranian government’s ability to fund and develop its nuclear programs,” said President Obama.
“The United States of America will continue to stand with those who seek justice and progress and the human rights and dignity of all people,” added the President.
On the flip side of things, Iran says its nuclear energy program is intended for peaceful purposes, however, President Obama is not convinced by this statement.
Iran and Israel
President Obama claims that Iran has not been compliant with the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) and therefore can be targeted for nuclear annihilation by the United States.
However in April, during the Nuclear Strategy Summit, President Obama told New York Times reporters, “The Nuclear Posture Review states very clearly, if you are a non-nuclear weapons state that is compliant with the NPT, you have a negative assurance we will not be using nuclear weapons against you.”
Yet, Iran signed the NPT and has vowed to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes only. The problem is that it has not complied with some resolutions that the U.S. has passed through the U.N. Security Council. Iran is also in apparent technical violation of some requirements of the International Atomic Energy Agency since it failed to promptly disclose a planned enrichment site near Qum before beginning its construction last September.
Though Iran stands out in the Nuclear Posture Review as the only non-nuclear state that is now facing nuclear threats from the United States, the Review might more reasonably apply to another nation that has refused to sign the NPT and has actually developed nuclear bombs in secret. It takes little time to conclude the implied nation is Israel.
Some might question why Israel is mentioned at this point, but it is mentioned because their offenses have not been mentioned in the Nuclear Posture Review, during the summit nor since.
With more than two hundred nuclear weapons and the capacity to deliver them against its enemies or use them to carry out its policies, Israel refuses to join the NPT or to open its nuclear facilities for International Atomic Energy inspection.
On the other hand, Israel is closely allied to the United States and the United States insists on applying the harshest possible sanctions against Iran.
Furthermore, the U.S. is responding to an initiative to make the Middle East a zone free of weapons of mass destruction by linking it to progress in the peace process. This would be, by all means, a great thing if it were not for the fact that it would leave Israel as the sole nuclear power in the region. If there is to be any initiative to free certain regions or the world for that matter of nuclear weapons, then let it be done without excluding any nation regardless of their allies.
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