New Iran Sanctions Could Push Petrol Prices Even Higher

U.S. lawmakers have introduced a new package of unilateral sanctions targeting Iran that would challenge U.S. President Obama’s discretionary authority to enforce such sanctions and would impose comprehensive restrictions on foreign entities that ship, refine or provide any other related services to Iran’s energy sector. Both versions of the bills in the U.S. Senate and … Continue reading “New Iran Sanctions Could Push Petrol Prices Even Higher”

Obama Imposes New Iran Sanctions as War Chorus Rises

Amid new calls for Washington to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities if its diplomatic efforts at curbing Tehran’s uranium-enrichment program fail, the United States Wednesday imposed unilateral sanctions against eight senior Iranian officials whom it accused of committing "sustained and severe violations of human rights." Announced at a joint press appearance by Secretary of State Hillary … Continue reading “Obama Imposes New Iran Sanctions as War Chorus Rises”

How Smart Are the Iran Sanctions?

In the face of the rising hysteria regarding Iran’s development of its nuclear power facilities, there is talk of preemptive military strikes against Iran. Meanwhile, sanctions on Iran – by both the UN Security Council and the United States – have become increasingly harsh. And to the extent they are successful, these sanctions will harm … Continue reading “How Smart Are the Iran Sanctions?”

Sixty Years of Failed North Korea Sanctions

In response to the March 26 sinking of the South Korean ship, the Cheonan, allegedly by a North Korean submarine, the United States is poised to adopt even more stringent sanctions against North Korea. Robert Einhorn, the U.S. State Department’s special advisor for nonproliferation and arms control, recently announced in Seoul that after legal and other questions … Continue reading “Sixty Years of Failed North Korea Sanctions”

Sanctions Give China an Advantage in Iran

LONDON — The European Union’s new sanctions against Iran appear to open a new space for eager Chinese companies to expand their investments in a country viewed as a rogue player by much of the western world. With China recently coming to light as Iran’s largest trade partner, some Chinese analysts predict a wealth of … Continue reading “Sanctions Give China an Advantage in Iran”

Ending the Gaza Blockade Might Help Israel as Much as Gaza

In the wake of Israel’s botched attack on a Turkish ship bringing relief to Gazans from Israel’s (and Egypt’s) economic blockade of Gaza, the Israelis have responded to intensely negative world opinion by relaxing the blockade. That move may help Israel as much as Gazans. Ending the counterproductive economic embargo and blockade would help both … Continue reading “Ending the Gaza Blockade Might Help Israel as Much as Gaza”

Iran Sanctions May Target Iran’s Middle Class

Although the United States and its allies insist that the latest round of U.N. sanctions against Iran targets high-level government officials rather than the general population, interviews with a number of analysts, activists and journalists in Tehran reveal a growing concern over the impact on the country’s middle class. "The government will use the oil … Continue reading “Iran Sanctions May Target Iran’s Middle Class”

Congress Slows Unilateral Sanctions Drive Against Iran

President Barack Obama’s efforts to gain greater flexibility in dealing with Iran received a small but potentially important boost Tuesday when a key congressional committee announced that the deadline for a unilateral U.S. sanctions package will be put off until next month. The Democratic co-chairs of the “conference committee” charged with reconciling competing versions of … Continue reading “Congress Slows Unilateral Sanctions Drive Against Iran”

Egypt, Hamas Complicit in Israel’s Gaza Blockade

RAMALLAH — A convoy of boats laden with humanitarian goods and accompanied by hundreds of journalists, human rights activists and European parliamentarians, is due to challenge Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza at the end of May. The Free Gaza movement’s "Freedom Flotilla" will see three cargo ships and five passenger boats with about 600 people … Continue reading “Egypt, Hamas Complicit in Israel’s Gaza Blockade”

Obama Sanctions Strategy Complicated by Congress

President Barack Obama is hoping that relatively quick approval by the U.N. Security Council of a new round of sanctions against Iran will relieve growing pressure on Capitol Hill to take stronger measures against Tehran. But those hopes are likely to be disappointed after lawmakers return from their Easter recess in two weeks when the … Continue reading “Obama Sanctions Strategy Complicated by Congress”