No human rights abuser in Iran has been sanctioned since the nuclear deal
The administration has given in to Iranian threats to walk away from the nuclear deal if any more sanctions are imposed by not citing any human rights abusers in Iran since the deal was signed.
This, despite promises to Congress that sanctions would be used as a tool to punish Iran for human rights violations. And the White House is fighting Congress over additional sanctions to replace the ones that expire this year.
“We were told during this process that getting the nuclear issue off the table was so critical and we could actually expect Iran to engage in additional destabilizing activity,” Rep. David Cicilline (D., R.I.) said during a House Foreign Affairs Committee examining the administration’s promises regarding Iran.
“We were assured that this would give us an opportunity to push back hard in these other areas because the danger of a nuclear Iran would be off the table, and I was very persuaded by that,” said Cicilline, a supporter of the nuclear agreement.
Cicilline asked Ambassador Stephen Mull, the administration’s lead coordinator for implementing the nuclear deal, what the administration has “done since the signing of the [nuclear deal] with regard to imposing sanctions on human rights violators in Iran.” Mull admitted that the U.S. has not taken any action.
“There has not been a specific sanction on human rights cases since the signing” of the deal, Mull said.
Cicilline questioned why, since the administration promised to take action, it had not done so in the face of rising human rights abuses by Iran.
Mull emphasized that the administration is concerned about human rights in Iran and has raised the issue in meetings with regime officials.
Insiders who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon warned that the administration will block all Congressional attempts to impose new sanctions on Iran out of fear that the Islamic Republic will abandon the deal.
“Congress wants to impose new pressure against Iranian human rights violations, but the Obama administration keeps blocking new action. The administration’s excuse is they already have all the tools they need,” said one source who works closely with Congress on the Iran issue. “What today’s admission shows is that they might have those tools, but they’re certainly not using them.”
Human rights groups continue to observe gross human rights violations in Iran, despite the election of President Hassan Rouhani, who was touted as a moderate reformer.
I think most Americans would say let them walk. It is intolerable that our foreign policy is being held hostage by the crazies in Tehran, who bristle at every effort to rein in their ambitions and continually mock and provoke the American government into appearing weak.
The sanctions are more symbolic than effective. But if nothing else, the sanctions give those fighting for more freedom in Iran hope. One of the least understood outcomes of speaking up about human rights violations in the old Soviet Union was that Jewish refuseniks and others involved in human rights campaigns were cheered at the thought that they were not alone, that the American people stood with them.
President Obama's message to the dissidents in Iran is, "So sorry. You're on your own."
Despite the bipartisan nature of the effort to replace expiring sanctions, there will almost certainly not be enough Democrats to overturn a presidential veto. Obama will not take the chance that his "signature" foreign policy achievement would be scuttled by America standing up for freedom of the Iranian people.