photo: World Can’t Wait
The House Leadership has announced that it will bring a new Iran sanctions bill to the Floor for a vote this week. The bill, HR 850 – Nuclear Iran Prevention Act, will be brought up on the “suspension” calendar this coming week. Traditionally, bills are brought to the floor under suspension of the rules because they are considered “non-controversial” and therefore the higher, 2/3 affirmative vote threshold for passage is not considered an impediment. This is generally the category reserved for renaming post offices and the like.
HR 850 is authored by the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), who is tireless in his dedication to the cause of US interventionism and war worldwide. Unfortunately, Royce is not alone in his views: the bill enjoys over 370 co-sponsors in the House. Its passage is virtually certain, and we would venture a bet that a recorded vote will not even be called on the bill — it will pass on a voice vote with no record therefore on how individual Members voted.
Among other things, this new sanctions bill:
Directs the Secretary of State to determine if Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) meets the criteria for designation as a foreign terrorist organization…
Amends the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 to subject to mandatory sanctions a financial institution that facilitates a significant transaction or provides significant financial services for a person that: (1) is subject to human rights-related sanctions, or (2) exports sensitive technology to Iran and is subject to the prohibition on procurement contracts.
Amends the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 to authorize the President to impose sanctions on a foreign person that knowingly conducted or facilitated a significant financial transaction with the Central Bank of Iran or other Iranian financial institution subject to sanctions for the purchase of goods (other than petroleum or petroleum products) or services by or from a person in Iran, or on behalf of a person in Iran.
Directs the President to develop a National Strategy on Iran that provides strategic guidance for addressing threats posed by Iran.
Directs the President to report to Congress every 60 days regarding the Iranian nuclear timetable and the projected economic effects of international sanctions on Iran.
Despite the fact that Hassan Rouhani, the moderate who Washington had claimed to be wishing for, was elected as Iran’s new president last month, the neoconservative push to war with Iran has not missed a beat. Indeed, the silence is deafening in Washington over Rouhani’s election — and when the neocons are not silent they are busy demonizing the very moderate they claimed to be hoping for.
This new round of sanctions seeks to inflict more punishment on the Iranian people for what the CIA and the Mossad agree is a non-existent nuclear weapons program of their government.
As history shows us, sanctions never achieve their stated purpose. They are useful primarily to those who seek war, as a way to demonstrate that since diplomacy and sanctions have not resulted in the changes demanded by Washington — in this case the cessation of a non-existent nuclear weapons program — war is the only remaining option available. Members of Congress are tricked into voting for sanctions as a way of avoiding war, but in fact sanctions are but one more step in the march to war. Once Members are on the hook supporting sanctions, it is more difficult for them to back down when the heat is to be turned up.
Sanctions are a true gateway drug to war. And most of Congress is hopelessly addicted.
Copyright © 2013, The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted provided full credit is given and a live link provided.