Another Round of Sanctions For Iran

AhmadinejadBy April Camp

If countries were Facebook pages, Iran’s oil industry would have the most friends and adversely one push of the theoretical “dislike” button wouldn’t be enough for most western nations.

The U.S. announced this week it will impose another round of sanctions on Iran’s financial and energy sectors.

The sanctions are in response to a report filed by the International Atomic Energy Agency earlier this month, which claimed to have intelligence that Iran is secretly building nuclear weapons.

Iranian officials have refuted any involvement in building nuclear weapons arguing it is within the nation’s rights to research nuclear power as a signatory state of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Canada and the United Kingdom will cut ties to Iran’s Central Bank and halt exports to the nation’s oil and gas industries.

Al-Jazeera reported Wednesday, “The US named Iran as an area of “primary money-laundering concern,” a step designed to dissuade non-US banks from dealing with it; blacklisted 11 entities suspected of aiding its nuclear programmes; and expanded sanctions to target companies that aid its oil and petrochemical industries.”

Non-U.S. banks?

ClintonAccording to Al-Jazeera, the U.S. feared going too far.

“The US stopped short of targeting Iran’s central bank, a step that could have cut it off from the global financial system, sent oil prices skyrocketing and jeopardized the economic recovery in the US and Europe.

CNN reported Wednesday, “U.S. officials had been considering action against the Central Bank of Iran but became concerned that a full sanction could have a negative effect on the world economy because of the potential impact on oil prices.”

CNN also reported the IAEA issued a resolution expressing concern about Iran, but did not threaten action against its nuclear programs.

Iranian officials have been quite vocal on PressTV that any threat of a strike by western nations would be met with a fight not confined to the middle east.

Al-Jazeera presents a side of the story that shows the United States only concerned about what certain sanctions would do to the U.S. economy, while CNN presents that same argument from another angle. An angle that shows the U.S. concerned about the global economy. Which one is right?  Well, it’s hard to tell. It’s undeniable that we live in a global economy,which can have a domino effect when something goes awry. As for nuclear weapons, you may be hard pressed to find someone gung-ho about going to war over “Weapons of Mass Destruction” after the devastating effects the Iraq war had on the world.

Right now, the nations involved in the sanctions are barking at each other, but I certainly hope the United States doesn’t jump into any more wars soon.


About middleeastcommentary

As an Associate Professor in Electronic Media Communication at Middle Tennessee State University, I teach courses in Media in the Middle East, among other courses analyzing media. I also produce media -- a recent documentary on the Kurds of Northern Iraq "More than the Mountains: Kurdistan of Iraq" produced following two trips to Iraq in 2005 and 2008.
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2 Responses to Another Round of Sanctions For Iran

  1. David Jenkins says:

    I read in BBC that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has issued a fatwa saying that the building of nuclear weapons goes against Islam. I’m not sure when this happened, and it could be a political stunt, but it’d be interesting to know how that effects popular opinion there. They also quote President Ahmadinejad in the article: “We do not need an atomic bomb. The Iranian nation is wise. It won’t build two atomic bombs while you have 20,000 warheads.” (referring to the U.S.)

    Personally, I doubt Iran would be stupid enough to use a nuclear weapon if they had it. Their stubbornness and disregard for sanctions could have something to do with the Bush administration’s suggestion that an invasion of Iran was “on the table.” Iran’s government is obviously corrupt in a lot of ways, but honestly…if the U.S. was threatening to take me out, I’d probably do what I could to get a nuke and ask them to reconsider. In any case, let’s hope they don’t…

  2. April, As you know, the British embassy was attacked and ransacked by mobs of mostly young men while the Iranian police stood by.

    Now the British have closed their embassy in Tehran and withdrawn embassy staff.

    This uproar is a reaction to the British government’s sanction of the Central Bank of Iran. This means all businesses and UK banks are prevented from dealing with any entity that deals with Iran. If all nations adopt such a measure it will cut off Iran’s ability to sell its oil — it’s most important export and source of revenue. The double edged sword of this move is that the price of oil will escalate world wide.

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