Congress is pressing hard for additional harsh sanctions on Iran’s central bank and oil sector, rejecting the Obama administration’s recent requests to ease them.
President Obama opposes Senate proposals to intensify sanctions on Iran supposedly because it would undermine current efforts to pressure Iran, as well as potentially having the opposite effect by boosting oil profits for the regime.
Hawkish Republicans and Democrats in Congress have tried to use this to claim Obama is “soft” on national security and an inflated Iran threat, but Obama dismissed this, bragging that his “administration has systematically imposed the toughest sanctions on Iran ever.”
As to the administration’s other efforts against Iran, they are also some of the most aggressive ever. The U.S. is engaging in a covert war against Iran, which includes cyber-warfare, commercial sabotage, targeted assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists, support for Iranian terrorists aiming to undermine the regime, a vast espionage apparatus, and harsh economic sanctions already in place.
But the push in Washington for additional sanctions seems to go even further, seeming to some as a necessary act of war. “The goal … is to inflict crippling, unendurable economic pain over there. Iran’s banking sector — especially its central bank — needs to become the financial equivalent of Chernobyl: radioactive, dangerous and most of all, empty,” said Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY).
The wellspring of war rhetoric and international aggression against Iran in recent months is eerily reminiscent of policies towards Iraq that preceded a policy of all-out invasion, regime change, and military occupation, to the detriment of hundreds of thousands of lives and trillions of dollars wasted.