The prospect of the US moving forward with unilateral sanctions against Iran seems all but assured today, after the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill that set up talks with the Senate on a finalized bill.
With a vote of 403-11, the vote saw only seven Democrats, Reps. Baird (WA), Moore (WI), Baldwin (WI), Blumenauer (OR), Kucinich (OH), Waters (CA) and McDermott (WA), and four Republicans, Reps. Flake (AZ), Jones (NC), Paul (TX) and Duncan (TN) oppose the measure. Three others, Reps. Lee (D – CA), Stark (D – CA), and Ellison (D – MN) voted “present.”
The measure would attempt to block companies across the world from doing business with Iran in importing gasoline and other vital goods Iran does not produce domestically, a move with has been designed to “cripple” Iran’s economy in retaliation for refusing to abandon its civilian nuclear program. Though today’s vote was mostly procedural, it likely gives a good indication to what the final vote will look like.
With talks moving on to the Senate, Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D – NV) promised to move quickly on the sanctions, declaring that the time for diplomacy was over and that Iran is a “festering sore in the world” that has to be punished.
Yet to be seen is if the Obama Administration is successful in inserting the so called “China exemption” in these sanctions, a move to exempt the petrol companies from permanent members of the UN Security Council from complying with the sanctions.