New York Post
Sunday, 27 March 2016
President Obama’s Iran policy can be summed up in four words: All carrots, no sticks.
Endless carrots, too — even ones his team told Congress the Iranians would never get.
In the drive for Senate approval of Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, the admistration repeatedly said Tehran would be denied access to the US financial system.
Looks like it’s about to get it after all.
The move would not only give Iran financial resources well beyond the $150 billion it’s already pocketed under the nuke deal, it would also leave all the remaining economic sanctions in tatters.
The Associated Press reports the administration is getting set to open new sanctions-relief doors — including long-forbidden access to US markets. Asked about it, the Treasury Department responds only that it continues to “analyze the sanctions lifting.”
And Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says outright that new action by Washington is ahead to ensure Iran “gets relief.”
All because Iran has been complaining that it deserves more rewards for its supposed compliance with the accord.
Never mind that Treasury’s sanctions chief last summer assured Congress “Iran will not be able to open bank accounts with US banks, nor will Iran be able to access the US banking sector.”
Oops — now that the Senate’s OK’d the deal, the administration’s stopped making those assurances.
The AP says Tehran may still be denied direct access; it would have to use Hong Kong clearinghouses to conduct dollar transactions. But the impact would be the same.
Obama originally promised to end only nuclear-related sanctions. But giving Tehran access to US financial markets would gut all economic sanctions — boosting Iran’s support of terrorism and its regional aggression.
The president’s carrots, in short, mean a lot more Iranian sticks.