By a vote of 100-0, the Senate last week passed its most stringent Iran sanctions bill to date. The vote was on an amendment by Senators Robert Menendez (D, NJ) and Mark Kirk (R, IL), and it would:
- Prohibit [maintenance of] accounts on foreign financial institutions engaged in non-petroleum-related transactions with the Central Bank of Iran after 60 days;
- Impose sanctions on foreign financial institutions, including central banks, engaged in petroleum-related transactions with the Central Bank of Iran after 180 days…
- Provide a humanitarian exception for food, medicine and medical devices; and
- Provide the president with an unclassified (with classified annex, if necessary) national security waiver authority every 120 days.
The administration opposed it. Their beef this time is that it might raise the price of oil. It might antagonize nations that do business with Iran and support the acquisition by Iran of nuclear weapons.
The Obama administration has opposed anything firmer than very stern finger-shaking where Iran is concerned for the last three years, preferring instead “engagement” and chit-chat, which the Iranian regime has alternately rebuffed or ignored.
With the Obama administration so determined to appease a non-nuclear Iran, to what will it stoop after Iran obtains nuclear weapons?