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New US Sanctions on Iran

Sunday, January 17, 2016 9:37
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With Iran celebrating international sanctions lifted on its entirely peaceful nuclear program, the US Treasury imposed new ones unilaterally and illegally – again solely for political reasons. A Treasury press release said Iran’s ballistic missile program was targeted, unrelated to its nuclear activities. Eleven domestic and foreign entities as well as individuals are targeted. Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Adam Szubin lied, claiming “Iran’s ballistic missile program poses a significant threat to regional and global security, and it will continue to be subject to international sanctions.” “We have consistently made clear that the United States will vigorously press sanctions against Iranian activities outside of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – including those related to Iran’s support for terrorism, regional destabilization, human rights abuses, and ballistic missile program.” It bears repeating. Longstanding US sanctions imposed on Iran were and continue to be solely for political reasons, no others. Any without Security Council authorization are illegal. Accusations against the Islamic Republic are fabricated. Its ballistic missile and other military activities are entirely legal – solely for national security and self-defense, never for waging war, polar opposite America’s sordid history of raping and destroying one country after another. Newly imposed sanctions on Iran less than 24 hours after lifting international ones shows implacable US anti-Iranian hostility. What further shoe will drop next – what other outrage against the region’s leading force for peace and stability? Washington should sanction itself. No country operates more ruthlessly, disdainful of rule of law principles, indifferent to human suffering. Nowhere else is responsible change more urgently needed, the only way to save humanity from the scourge of endless wars, possible WW III with nuclear weapons, risking mass annihilation. International Sanctions on Iran Lifted On January 16, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said “Agency inspectors on the ground verified that Iran has carried out all measures required under the JCPOA (nuclear deal) to enable” lifting international sanctions. “Relations between Iran and the IAEA now enter a new phase. It is an important day for the international community. I congratulate all those who helped make it a reality, especially the group of countries known as the (P5+1), Iran and the IAEA Board.” A White House statement said the IAEA “verified that Iran has completed the necessary steps under the Iran deal that will ensure Iran’s nuclear program is and remains exclusively peaceful.” Washington “will begin lifting its nuclear-related sanctions on Iran. (Others) remain in place.” Obama issued an Executive Order, revoking earlier EO’s imposing nuclear related sanctions. A letter to the House speaker and Senate president explained the action taken, Obama saying in part: “I have determined that Iran’s implementation of the nuclear related measures specified in sections 15.1-15.11 of Annex V of the JCPOA, as verified by the IAEA, marks a fundamental shift in circumstances with respect to Iran’s nuclear program.” “All agencies of the United States Government are directed to take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out (EO) provisions,” lifting nuclear related sanctions. From Vienna, John Kerry hailed “a critical and auspicious milestone…(The IAEA confirmed Iran is) in compliance with the (nuclear) agreement” reached last July. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini affirmed the lifting of “multilateral and national economic and financial sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear program…” A US Treasury Department statement said foreign subsidiaries of US companies may operate in Iran. Non-US citizens may trade with the Islamic Republic. Americans are prohibited from doing it, despite the longstanding ban on exporting commercial aircraft now lifted. Israel reacted as expected, intending no letup in its efforts to undermine what’s been achieved, Netanyahu saying: “Israel will continue to monitor Iran’s negative activities…” He lied, claiming “Iran has not abandoned its aspirations to acquire nuclear weapons and continues to destabilize the Middle East and spread terrorism throughout the world.” Israel’s hardline UN envoy Danny Danon repeated the Big Lies, his comments similar to Netanyahu’s. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan irresponsibly claimed lifting international sanctions marks “a new and dangerous time…This is a difficult day for all countries in the region.” Former Foreign Minister/ultranationalist hardliner Avigdor Lieberman outrageously compared implementation day to the 1938 Munich Agreement, WW II following a year later. Israel considers individuals, groups or nations opposing its ruthless agenda terrorists. Iran’s nuclear program is entirely peaceful with no military component. It’s the region’s leading proponent of peace, stability and elimination of nuclear weapons. Israel is its greatest threat, partnered with Washington and other rogue states. Bipartisan congressional hardliners continue hyping the nonexistent threat of a nuclear-armed Iran – outrageously claiming unfreezing over $100 billion of its assets gives it vast new resources to spread terror, threaten its neighbors and covertly develop nuclear weapons. AIPAC called implementation day a “dangerous moment for America and our allies,” irresponsibly accusing Iran of nonexistent international restrictions on its activities. US sanctions unrelated to nuclear ones remain in force, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, duplicitously saying: The nuclear deal “does not resolve other areas where Iran’s behavior remains unacceptable. We will continue to target sanctionable activities outside of the JCPOA – including those related to Iran’s support for terrorism, regional destabilization, human rights abuses, and ballistic missile development.” US hostility toward Iran is largely unchanged. Nothing ahead suggests steps to normalize relations responsibly. Replacing Iranian sovereign independence with Western-controlled puppet governance remains official US policy. Longstanding Pentagon war plans may be implemented ahead to do it.

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