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US approves more sanctions against Iran

12-03-2011 09:30 BJT

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The US Senate has voted unanimously to approve new sanctions, aimed at crippling the operations of Iran’s central bank. The goal is to choke off the country’s ability to process oil revenues, which many Senators believe are being used to acquire nuclear weapons capabilities.

The vote came despite a strong warning from the Obama administration that such actions would be counter-productive.

The US Senate has voted by 100-0 to approve a proposal to ban any foreign financial institutions from transacting in US dollar markets if theydo any business with the Iranian central bank. This unanimous vote came despite earlier warnings from the US State Department.

Wendy Sherman, Under Secretary for Political Affairs, said, "There’s absolutely a risk that, in fact, the price of oil would go up, which would mean that Iran would, in fact, have more money to fuel itsnuclear ambitions, not less and the real objective here is to cut off the economic means that Iran has for its nuclear program."

One of the authors of this proposal - or amendment - Senator Robert Menendez says it’s designed to avoid this oil shock.

Robert Menendez, Senator, said, "Now this amendment was crafted in such a way that it gives the President two significant pieces of discretion. Number one, to determine that there is sufficient supply in the oil market that would not create a disruption and if he finds that is not the case the actions would not go intoeffect."

The other would be on the grounds of national security. All of this still needs to be approved by the US House of Representatives and by the President.

Nuclear advisor Joseph Cirincone, the President of the Ploughshares Fund is not reassured by Senator Menendez’s safeguards.

Joseph Cirincone, President of Ploughsahares Fund, said,"That freezes 2.3 million barrels of oil every day that Iran trades on world markets. That means the price of oil will spike up, $200 a barrel,some experts say $300 a barrel. That puts the economy of Europe and the United States into a tailspin. That hurts us much more than it hurtsIran. Iran might even make money on the deal."

The US Treasury is seeking what it calls a more "workable and selective" approach to targeting the central bank of Iran, while endorsing aFrench idea to freeze its assets.

The Obama administration will now examine ways in which it can tighten pressure on Tehran mindful that too rigid approach may ultimatelydamage US economic and strategic interests.

 

 

Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: CNTV.CN

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