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As With Libya, U.S. Extends Iran Sanctions Despite Deal. Iran Questions U.S. Military Resolve

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LIBYA (Photo credit: شبكة برق | B.R.Q)

 TEHRAN (FNA)- Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari underlined that Washington fears military engagement with Iran more than any other country.

“The Americans’ statement about having the military option on the table is a lie. Americans don’t know that we know they are afraid of attacking Iran more than any other country; there is absolutely no such thought in the minds of the US statesmen, but they talk about it (to use it) as a political tool anyway,” General Jafari told reporters in the Southwestern city of Ahwaz on Sunday.

He said the US deployed troops in all its bases in the neighboring countries of Iran from 2003 to 2007 in a bid to surround the Islamic Republic for a military attack, and added, “They intended to launch a direct military attack on the country, but when they saw the Iranian nation’s subordination to its Leader, they felt scared and escaped.”

President Jimmy Carter announces new sanctions...

President Jimmy Carter announces new sanctions against Iran in retaliation for taking U.S. hostages (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In similar remarks earlier today, Commander of Iran’s Basij (volunteer) Force Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi also said Washington’s allegations about the continued possibility of military action against Iran are nothing, but a bluff.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said that 95 percent of the sanctions imposed against Iran will remain intact after the upcoming talks between Iran and the Group 5+1 and only a tiny portico of Iran’s frozen assets will be released if negotiations prove successful and end in a deal.

In similar remarks, Obama has said that the main body of the US sanctions against Iran, including those in the oil, financial and banking sectors, will be extended.

Hence, it seems that the US does not intend to make a considerable change to its Iran sanctions policy, at least, in the short-run, and if the situation is analyzed on the basis of the rules of power, it will be quite evident that a structural change in Washington’s sanctions will have a little chance in the long-run as well.

Haven’t we seen this sanctions-no sanctions pattern before? Perhaps we should look at the U.S. approach to Libya in the past:

Mass Destruction Weapons. It was reported that Libyan forces used chemical weapons against the Chadian forces during the 1986-1987 fighting. (See Washington Post, December 23, 1987, or Christian Science Monitor, January 5, 1988.) Supposedly, Libya acquired the chemical weapons from Iran. In March 1990, the United States and Germany accused Libya of building a chemical weapons center at Rabta, and in February 1993, the United States said Libya was building another chemical weapons plant at Tarhunah. The United States banned the export to Libya of any chemicals or equipment that could be used in the manufacture of weapons. The New York Times reported on February 25, 1996, that the underground Tarhunah plant and storage facility would be completed in 1997 or 1998. During his visit to Egypt on April 3, 1996, U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry implied that the United States would consider using military force to stop completion of the Tarhunah plant. (See CRS Report 96-849, Libya: Suspected Chemical Weapons Facility at Tarhunah.)”

“Beginning in the mid-1970s, Qadhafi stated that the Arabs needed a nuclear weapons capability to match Israel’s. Libya, according to reports, tried to buy nuclear weapons from China in 1975 and from India in 1978, and tried to negotiate nuclear technology sharing arrangements with Pakistan in 1980, the Soviet Union in 1981, Argentina in 1983, Brazil in 1984, and Belgium in 1985. The Soviets built a small research reactor in Libya in 1981. (See Leonard Spector’s The Undeclared Bomb, 1988.) Libya signed the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty in 1975.

As one policy organization, Heritage Foundation, wrote in its advisory at large for Bush regarding Libya and it’s weapons of mass destruction:

In return for Libya’s cooperation in surrendering the Lockerbie suspects, the Clinton Administration agreed to the de facto lifting of U.N. sanctions against Libya. Although U.N. sanctions were suspended rather than formally lifted, the White House agreed with the British government that any re-imposition of sanctions would require a Security Council vote. The Clinton Administration also proceeded with an incremental normalization of bilateral relations with Libya. It allowed four American oil companies to send delegations in 1999 to survey the Libyan oilfields that they were forced to abandon by sanctions and considered lifting a ban on travel by U.S. citizens to Libya. The State Department argued that Qadhafi had abandoned his support for terrorism, citing Libya’s 1998 expulsion of the Abu Nidal terrorist group. This naive assessment, however, ignored the fact that the Abu Nidal group was a spent force and that Qadhafi has a long history of dropping his support for terrorist groups when it is convenient, only to renew it later. Moreover, Libya still has not dismantled terrorist training camps that could easily be re-activated.

English: Official photograph portrait of forme...

English: Official photograph portrait of former U.S. President George W. Bush. Português: Foto oficial de George W. Bush, presidente dos Estados Unidos da América. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Bush Administration should distance itself from the Clinton Administration’s half-hearted policy and hold Qadhafi to a more rigorous standard. The Lockerbie bombing cannot be dismissed as the criminal act of an individual. It was an act of state-sponsored terrorism, and therefore an act of war. The Bush Administration should:

◾ Hold Libya to its obligation under U.N. Security Council resolutions to accept responsibility for the Lockerbie bombing, make reparations to the families of the victims, and cooperate with the investigation.

◾ Continue the investigation into the Lockerbie bombing. The Clinton Administration’s priority in agreeing to the Lockerbie trial arrangements was to rehabilitate Libya rather than to pursue justice.

◾ Maintain U.S. sanctions against Libya. The United States has imposed more than 20 sanctions on Libya since 1973. All of these should be maintained, including the 1996 Iran and Libya Sanctions Act, which penalizes foreign oil companies that invest in the oil and gas industries of Libya or Iran. Congress should renew this law before it expires later this year.

◾Reserve the right to use military force in retaliation for the Lockerbie bombing. International terrorism is not just a crime, but a threat to U.S. national security.

The U.S. pretty much followed the above policy, even after doing the following:

US lifts most sanctions against Libya  (Agencies)  

Updated: 2004-04-24 09:02

The Bush administration lifted most US sanctions against Libya on Friday, opening the way for US investments and commercial activities but still forbidding air travel and some exports to the country, the White House said.

The decision came in recognition of the steps Libya has taken during the past two months to renounce terrorism and to voluntarily eliminate its weapons of mass destruction and longer-range missile programs, White House officials said.

“Libya has set a standard that we hope other nations will emulate in rejecting weapons of mass destruction and in working constructively with international organizations to halt the proliferation of the world’s most dangerous systems,” the White House said in a written statement.

The lifting of the sanctions makes most commercial business, investment and trade with Libya possible but maintains controls on exports to Libya in accordance with the State Department’s State Sponsors of Terrorism list. The removal of sanctions means the United States will no longer punish countries that do business with Libya.

Libya already has scheduled loading of 1 million barrels of crude oil to ship to a US company, Abdullah Gheblawi, general manager for international marketing for state-owned National Oil Corp., told Reuters.

In February, the United States dropped its 23-year ban on travel to Libya by US citizens and permitted Americans to spend money in the country. Report: Libya among safest places to do business

The lifting of commercial restrictions will also make Libyan students eligible to study in the United States, subject to school admission.

The statement also said Washington will drop its objection to Libya’s attempts to enter the World Trade Organization.

And we find similar patterns in the Iraq sanctions patterns:

Containing Iraq: Sanctions Worked From our July/August 2004 Issue

The Bush administration’s primary justification for going to war against Iraq last year was the threat posed by Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs. But almost as soon as U.S. forces took Baghdad, it became clear that this fear was based on bad intelligence and faulty assumptions. Since then, the failure to find WMD in Iraq has caused a furor.

Sympathetic analysts argue that Washington had no way of knowing how serious the threat of Iraqi WMD was, so intelligence agencies provided the administration with a wide-ranging set of estimates. In the post-September 11 security environment, the argument goes, the Bush administration had little choice but to assume the worst. Critics charge that the White House inflated and manipulated weak, ambiguous intelligence to paint Iraq as an urgent threat and thus make an optional war seem necessary. A recent report by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, for example, found not only that the intelligence community had overestimated Iraqi chemical and biological weapons capabilities but also that administration officials “systematically misrepresented” the threat posed by Iraqi weapons.

Public debate has focused on the question of what went wrong with U.S. intelligence. Given the deteriorated state of Iraq’s unconventional weapons programs and conventional military capabilities, this is only appropriate. But missing from the discussion is an equally important question: What went right with U.S. policy toward Iraq between 1990 and 2003? On the way to their misjudgments, it now appears, intelligence agencies and policymakers disregarded considerable evidence of the destruction and deterioration of Iraq’s weapons programs, the result of a successful strategy of containment in place for a dozen years. They consistently ignored volumes of data about the impact of sanctions and inspections on Iraq’s military strength.

The unique synergy of sanctions and inspections thus eroded Iraq’s weapons programs and constrained its military capabilities. The renewed UN resolve demonstrated by the Security Council’s approval of a “smart” sanctions package in May 2002 showed that the system could continue to contain and deter Saddam. Unfortunately, only when U.S. troops invaded in March 2003 did these successes become clear: the Iraqi military that confronted them had, in the previous twelve years, been decimated by the strategy of containment that the Bush administration had called a failure in order to justify war in the first place.

Written by voiceoftruthusa

November 18, 2013 at 12:27 am

One Response

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  1. Reblogged this on Karma's little spanker.

    elementul huliganic

    November 18, 2013 at 8:07 am

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