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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

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Monday, October 02, 2006

The Sanctions Game:

On Saturday, the Senate passed the Iranian Freedom and Support Act. Now what does this new bill entail for Iran? Sanctions. The president is putting a stranglehold on their on their financial deals:

Bolstered by a new sanctions bill against Iran, Secretary of State Rice will press Arab foreign ministers tomorrow in Cairo to instruct banks in the region to cut ties to any entities contributing to Iran's nuclear program, support for terror, or pursuit of advanced conventional weapons.

If the gambit in Cairo succeeds, it will boost American efforts to punish Iran for its defiance of international resolutions on its nuclear program. In the last 18 months, the Bush administration has quietly succeeded in pressing four large European banks, including London-based HSBC, to stop doing business with Iran.

Indeed, when the Treasury Department announced earlier this month that Iran's Bank Saderat would be barred from American financial markets, three large Japanese banks also cut ties with the bank. Yesterday, the Iranian press announced that talks between Iran and Japan on a $2 billion deal to develop the Azadegan oil field had collapsed.

The Iran Freedom and Support Act, which the Senate passed Saturday and President Bush is expected to sign this week, threatens to bar from American financial markets all banks and companies that are found to be contributing to the Iranian nuclear project or its development of advanced weapons.

In this respect, the most important attendee at tomorrow's meeting will be the foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates, Sheik Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan. The banks of Dubai, a kind of Arabian Switzerland, handle the personal and corporate bank accounts of many of the Iranian regime's leaders. So far, Arab states have been signaling quietly through the Gulf Cooperation Council that they would like to see Iran end its enrichment of uranium.

"A number of Gulf countries have concerns about Iran's nuclear program and have urged strong action," the director of research for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Patrick Clawson, said. "So this initiative by the United States allows those countries to claim all they are doing is bending to American pressure, when in fact that they are not so happy about Iran's nuclear program."

They should be worried about Iran's nuclear program. The Iranian mullahs have stated they want to bring back the Persian Empire of old, and if they do a lot of countries inthe region are laible to be gobbled up. It's no secret that these Gulf states are unhappy with Iran, and are definitiely afraid of what might happen should Iran get some nukes made. The knew the consequences of a nuclear-armed Iran. So does, apparently, a couple of our allies. The $2 billion deal with Japan would have been extremely lucrative for both sides, but Japan has been an ally of the US since the end of the war. So, the deal was DOA as soon as word came out that the president had this new tool against Iran.

Iran, for its part, has decided to utilize their oil offensively, and is asking its allies in OPEC to cut back oil production to raise the price:

The Islamic Republic News Agency quoted an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Mohammad Ali Hossein, yesterday as saying the sanctions "cannot weaken the will of a great nation, which has achieved its independence and progress by relying on its national and religious values," according to the Associated Press.

As America threatens Iran's bankers with sanctions, the Islamic Republic is playing its oil card. The Iranian representative to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries announced his support yesterday for a reduction in oil production to raise the price per barrel back to an "acceptable" level.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran will support any effort by OPEC members to strengthen the oil market and return prices to an acceptable and rational level," Iran's OPEC governor, Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, said, according to Bloomberg News. Two Iranian allies, Venezuela and Nigeria, agreed on Friday to cut oil production by 170,000 barrels a day, Bloomberg reported.

Iran isn't thinking things through. If we are able to pull this off, and cut funds and financial services to Iran, they'll be hard-pressed to hold back production. As they do so, their own revenues will drop. Furthermore, with the recent decision by Congress to begin more Gulf-shore drilling and refining, we are working towards our own energy independence. Coupled with ANWaR (should anyone in Congress finally locate their brains), and we could sever all ties to the Middle East when it comes to getting oil. That goes double for Hugo Chavez in Venezuela; a man we definitely need to cut ties to. He's a nut, and a dnagerous one at that. He wants nukes, too, and I'm sure that should Iran make any, he'd be only so happy to take a few off of their hands.

Maybe with this new strategy Iran will ewake up and realize we mean business. This isn't about any sort of hegemony, as Ahmadinejad claims it is. It's about protecting our natiopn and our national interests, and a nuclear-armed Iran doesn't fit into that equation. At least not with it's current leadership.

Sabrina McKinney


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