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June 24, 2010

Congress moves forward with “crippling sanctions” (and misses opportunity to support Iranians)

On Monday, the latest version of Congress’ sanctions bill was unveiled just in time to be passed and sent to the President’s desk by July 4. The new sanctions bill comes on the heels of the one-year anniversary of the Iranian elections that sparked a massive protest movement and brutal government reprisals. But while lawmakers have attempted to reconcile the pain that these new sanctions will impose on ordinary Iranians with Congress’ claims of support for the people of Iran, this bill remains a blunt instrument that perpetuates the sanctions-only framework that has dominated the United States’ Iran policy for decades.
The sanctions bill is officially titled the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 (H.R.2194), but it is better known by its shorthand moniker–“crippling sanctions”. This was the term popularized by Senator Hillary Clinton when she was campaigning for President, but which fell out of vogue in Secretary Clinton’s State Department following the violence and suffering that occurred in Iran over the last year.
Congress, however, never abandoned the concept of “crippling” Iran through sanctions. Now that the Obama Administration has passed UN sanctions, and protests and government brutality in Iran no longer dominate the news, Congress has free reign to pass sanctions that would “cripple” Iran’s economy by cutting off gasoline to Iran that is used by ordinary Iranians for everything from heating their homes to producing food and transporting medicine.
Continue reading at Foreign Policy

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