Wednesday, March 28, 2007
The hilarious sanctions put on Iran by the UN are being harmed by the usual suspects - a major French executive has been arrested for sending equipment to Iran.
The Bush administration is not waiting for the morons at the UN to do something - they are doing it themselves. Using US banking procedures, we are slowly strangling the Iranian economy.
Death to Mahmoudy the Goatfucker. Death to the pervert.
Iran Feels Pinch As Major Banks Curtail Business
More than 40 major international banks and financial institutions have either cut off or cut back business with the Iranian government or private sector as a result of a quiet campaign launched by the Treasury and State departments last September, according to Treasury and State officials.
The financial squeeze has seriously crimped Tehran's ability to finance petroleum industry projects and to pay for imports. It has also limited Iran's use of the international financial system to help fund allies and extremist militias in the Middle East, say U.S. officials and economists who track Iran.
The U.S. campaign, developed by Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, emerged in part over U.S. frustration with the small incremental steps the U.N. Security Council was willing to take to contain the Islamic republic's nuclear program and support for extremism, U.S. officials say. The council voted Saturday to impose new sanctions on Tehran, including a ban on Iranian arms sales and a freeze on assets of 28 Iranian individuals and institutions.
"All the banks we've talked to are reducing significantly their exposure to Iranian business," said Stuart Levey, Treasury's undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence. "It's been a universal response. They all recognize the risks -- some because of what we've told them and some on their own. You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to see the dangers."
The new campaign particularly targets financial transactions involving the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, which is now a major economic force beyond its long-standing role in procuring arms and military materiel. Companies tied to the elite unit and its commanders have been awarded government contracts such as airport management and construction of the Tehran subway. The practice has increased since the 2005 election of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, U.S. officials say. The Revolutionary Guard -- of which Ahmadinejad is a former member -- is part of the hard-line leader's constituency.
How good that sounds. But this part - again, way down in the article - sounds even better:
Iranian importers are particularly feeling the pinch, with many having to pay for commodities in advance when a year ago they could rely on a revolving line of credit, said Patrick Clawson, a former World Bank official now at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. The scope of Iran's vulnerability has been a surprise to U.S. officials, he added.
The financial institutions cutting back business ties are mainly in Europe and Asia, U.S. officials say. UBS last year said it was cutting off all dealings with Iran. London-based HSBC (which has 5,000 offices in 79 countries) and Standard Chartered (with 1,400 branches in 50 countries) as well as Commerzbank of Germany have indicated they are limiting their exposure to Iranian business, Levey said. The rest have asked the United States not to publicize their names.
Ahmadinejad's rhetoric -- from denying the Holocaust to comparing Iran's stock exchange to gambling -- has helped, experts say. "There is very little foreign investment in Iran not because of sanctions, but because of the atmosphere created by Ahmadinejad's crazy statements," said Jahangir Amuzegar, former Iranian finance minister and executive director of the International Monetary Fund.
At some point - rather sooner than later - the Iranian economy will ground to a halt. Unemployment will rise, and, for Mahmoudy, that will mean his opposition will grow and grow.
Then, perhaps, the Iranian fruitcakes can eat nuclear power as their food source.