Senate passes AIPAC sponsored Iran Sanctions Act

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PostThu Feb 04, 2010 6:05 pm » by Savwafair2012

Senate passes AIPAC sponsored Iran Sanctions Act
Last week the Senate passed legislation to impose economic sanctions against Iran. The House version of the bill sponsored by Reps. Barney Frank (D-MA) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) passed in December. There is a separate Petroleum Sanctions act sponsored by Ileana Ros Lehtinen (R-FL) and Howard Berman (D-CA) that passed the House in October. The Senate bill was sponsored by Democrat Chris Dodd and Republican Richard Shelby.

The sanctions would target oil which Iran's economy is dependent on. The bill would also ban trade with companies that do business with Iran. The President has not stated whether he will sign the bill into law but did warn Iran that it would suffer "growing consequences" if they ignored international obligations. President Obama introduced similar legislation when he was Senator.

US sanctions alone will not cripple Iran's economy since Russia and China are dependent on Iran for oil. Hillary Clinton is now pressuring China to cooperate on Iran, but we have little leverage since we are in debt to them. However it will send a clear message that America is an enemy of Iran and will likely cause more harm to the Iranian people than to the regime. The National Iranian-American Council says "the bill will impose "indiscriminate, unilateral sanctions that will hurt the Iranian people and play into the hands of Iran's rulers, who continue to commit flagrant human rights violations."

AIPAC, the powerful pro-Israel lobby which lobbied for the bill applauded its passage and urged for its expedient implementation. AIPAC Spokesman Josh Block said, ""Iran's possession of nuclear weapons capability would be a devastating blow to America's national security interests," and that the" US and our allies must impose biting diplomatic and economic pressure to try and peaceably prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and avoid confronting more distressing alternatives."

Also endorsing the Bill, US Chairman of World Jewish Congress, Rabbi Marc Schneier said, "The importance of this legislation cannot be underestimated. This legislation seeks to reinforce and increase economic pressure on Iran in order to attempt to dissuade them from pursuing what would be a devastating outcome for not only the Middle East, but to Europe and beyond. As the World Jewish Congress-United States takes every opportunity in meetings at all levels with representatives of local and foreign governments in order to emphasize this danger, the United States Senate has set an example for what needs to be done internationally in order to unify against this growing threat."

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