US Says Main Iran Sanctions Unchanged

Ahh, damage control. That glorious political spin in which officials can actually work hard to convince some people of how good something is, only then to tell others that it’s not THAT good.

Welcome to the world of American diplomats – especially US Secretary of State John Kerry. Just weeks after reaching an interim deal with Iran that alleviates sanctions pressure in exchange for Iranian nuclear concessions, Kerry had to emphasize that the big sanctions are still there.

Kerry said the “fundamental” sanctions on Iranian oil and banking are “absolutely in place.” Said Kerry in comments released by his office, “It is not changed, and we will be stepping up our efforts of enforcement.”

He even warned those who might breach the sanctions. “We willobviously be vigilant. We say to any country that contemplates moving ahead of sanctions, don’t, because those sanctions will continue to be enforced.”

The sanctions are crucial because Iran’s economy has been hit hard by them. If there’s any hope of really convincing Iran to give up their nuclear weapons program peacefully, it’s through economic pressure.

But lately the media has made it sound more and more rosy for Iran economically. More imports of food and medical supplies according to The Wall Street Joirnal, and the Fars News Agency even noted the possibility that Iran might find more oil trade opportunities with Asia thanks to relaxing sanctions.

So Mr. Kerry, which is it? Are the tough sanctions still pressuring Iran, or are there enough loopholes to give Iran dangerous breathing room?

How your country answers, Mr. Kerry, will be crucial in determining if the world’s leading terrorism sponsor will be able to develop the world’s most dangerous weapons.

(By Joshua Spurlock,, Dec 5, 2013)

What do you think?