Friday, December 2, 2011

Are EU Sanctions Against Iran Enough?



More tension between Iran and the West, after the European Union tightened its sanctions against Tehran. Fox News has more :

“The European Union set to slap new sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, days after hard line protesters attacked the British embassy there. Is Iran lurching towards war with the west?”

In total, the EU added 180 Iranian officials and companies to a blacklist that freezes their assets and bans travel to member states -- and has agreed to consider further punitive measures focused on Iran's banking, transport and energy sectors. The Washington Post reports that British Foreign Secretary William Hague expressed satisfaction:
But the New York Times reports there are reasons to be disappointed with the decisions:

“The measures fell well short of demands by Britain and France for an embargo on oil purchases from Iran, one of the world’s leading producers. Greece, a European Union member and a significant buyer of Iranian oil, expressed strong resistance to that step.
France’s Le Monde believes sanctions are likely to do more harm to the countries imposing the measures than to the Iranian regime itself.
The French paper says an embargo on oil would be hard to bear for countries like Spain, Greece and Italy, whose economies are shaky, and which import almost 15% of their oil from Iran.
And many doubt sanctions would actually put much pressure on Iran. RT’s political consultant Adrian Salbuchi says Iran can easily sell its oil to other countries:
“Since Iran has its back protected in part by China, and also in part by Russia, which seems to be getting fed up with these permanent events on the part of NATO, I don’t think sanctions will do the trick. That’s why the fear, the real terror, is that they might end up resorting to unilateral military invasion.”

And Iranian American Council Director Jamal Adbi expressed another concern to US News:

"Even if the sanctions are indeed successful in limiting oil profits to Iran, the Iranian people, rather than the regime itself, would feel the brunt of the economic losses.”

In addition to Great Britain, Italy, France, Germany and the Netherlands have already withdrawn their ambassadors from Tehran.

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