Obama pushing to exempt Russia, China from Iran sanctions

President Obama is asking a House-Senate conference committee who are crafting a tough Iran sanctions bill to exempt "cooperating countries" from its provisions.

Eli Lake in the Washington Times has the details:

"It's incredible the administration is asking for exemptions, under the table and winking and nodding, before the legislation is signed into law," Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida Republican and a conference committee member, said in an interview. A White House official confirmed Wednesday that the administration was pushing the conference committee to adopt the exemption of "cooperating countries" in the legislation.Neither the House nor Senate version of the bill includes a "cooperating countries" provision even though the administration asked the leading sponsors of the Senate version of the bill nearly six months ago to include one.

The legislation, aimed at companies that sell Iran gasoline or equipment to refine petroleum, would impose penalties on such companies, up to the potentially crippling act of cutting off the company entirely from the American economy. It also would close a loophole in earlier Iran sanctions by barring foreign-owned subsidiaries of U.S. companies from doing business in Iran's energy sector.

Although Iran is one of the world's leading oil exporters, it lacks the capacity to refine as much oil into gasoline as its domestic economy uses. Three years ago, the Iranian government imposed gasoline rations on the population.

"We're pushing for a 'cooperating-countries' exemption," the White House official said. "It is not targeted to any country in particular, but would be based on objective criteria and made in full consultation with the Congress."

Mrs. Ros-Lehtinen, however, said the exemption "is aimed at China and Russia specifically."

Russia especially would be eager to sell Iran refined gasoline and China is licking its chops at the prospect of assisting the Iranians in increasing their refining capacity.

The transparency of this ploy to get the two permanent members of the Security Council to go along with more milquetoast sanctions at the UN is nauseating. The administration is going through the motions now, as no one believes anything the UN can do will stop the Iranians from developing the ability to construct a nuclear weapon.

A tough bill passed in America might draw support from many of our allies including France, Germany, Great Britain, and other members of the EU. But why should the Europeans cut the legs from underneath their own companies when America waters down a sanctions bill?

The administration really doesn't care about sanctions at this point except as a political ploy to take Obama off the hook for enabling an Iranian bomb. This bill before Congress could have been passed much earlier except the administration was saying that it would undercut its efforts at the UN. That was never the case. It has always been about figuring out a way to avoid responsibility for the biggest strategic blunder in many years.

 

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky


President Obama is asking a House-Senate conference committee who are crafting a tough Iran sanctions bill to exempt "cooperating countries" from its provisions.

Eli Lake in the Washington Times has the details:

"It's incredible the administration is asking for exemptions, under the table and winking and nodding, before the legislation is signed into law," Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida Republican and a conference committee member, said in an interview. A White House official confirmed Wednesday that the administration was pushing the conference committee to adopt the exemption of "cooperating countries" in the legislation.

Neither the House nor Senate version of the bill includes a "cooperating countries" provision even though the administration asked the leading sponsors of the Senate version of the bill nearly six months ago to include one.

The legislation, aimed at companies that sell Iran gasoline or equipment to refine petroleum, would impose penalties on such companies, up to the potentially crippling act of cutting off the company entirely from the American economy. It also would close a loophole in earlier Iran sanctions by barring foreign-owned subsidiaries of U.S. companies from doing business in Iran's energy sector.

Although Iran is one of the world's leading oil exporters, it lacks the capacity to refine as much oil into gasoline as its domestic economy uses. Three years ago, the Iranian government imposed gasoline rations on the population.

"We're pushing for a 'cooperating-countries' exemption," the White House official said. "It is not targeted to any country in particular, but would be based on objective criteria and made in full consultation with the Congress."

Mrs. Ros-Lehtinen, however, said the exemption "is aimed at China and Russia specifically."

Russia especially would be eager to sell Iran refined gasoline and China is licking its chops at the prospect of assisting the Iranians in increasing their refining capacity.

The transparency of this ploy to get the two permanent members of the Security Council to go along with more milquetoast sanctions at the UN is nauseating. The administration is going through the motions now, as no one believes anything the UN can do will stop the Iranians from developing the ability to construct a nuclear weapon.

A tough bill passed in America might draw support from many of our allies including France, Germany, Great Britain, and other members of the EU. But why should the Europeans cut the legs from underneath their own companies when America waters down a sanctions bill?

The administration really doesn't care about sanctions at this point except as a political ploy to take Obama off the hook for enabling an Iranian bomb. This bill before Congress could have been passed much earlier except the administration was saying that it would undercut its efforts at the UN. That was never the case. It has always been about figuring out a way to avoid responsibility for the biggest strategic blunder in many years.

 

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky


RECENT VIDEOS