Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Well, Of Course, What Do You Expect? It's Europe

Europe resists America's Call To Curb Ties With Iran:

European governments are resisting Bush administration demands that they curtail support for exports to Iran and that they block transactions and freeze assets of some Iranian companies, officials on both sides say. The resistance threatens to open a new rift between Europe and the United States over Iran.

Administration officials say a new American drive to reduce exports to Iran and cut off its financial transactions is intended to further isolate Iran commercially amid the first signs that global pressure has hurt Iran’s oil production and its economy. There are also reports of rising political dissent in Iran.

In December, Iran’s refusal to give up its nuclear program led the United Nations Security Council to impose economic sanctions. Iran’s rebuff is based on its contention that its nuclear program is civilian in nature, while the United States and other countries believe Iran plans to make weapons.

At issue now is how the resolution is to be carried out, with Europeans resisting American appeals for quick action, citing technical and political problems related to the heavy European economic ties to Iran and its oil industry.

“We are telling the Europeans that they need to go way beyond what they’ve done to maximize pressure on Iran,” said a senior administration official. “The European response on the economic side has been pretty weak.” The American demands and European responses were provided by 10 different officials, including both supporters and critics of the American approach.

One irony of the latest pressure, European and American officials say, is that on their own, many European banks have begun to cut back their transactions with Iran, partly because of a Treasury Department ban on using dollars in deals involving two leading Iranian banks.

American pressure on European governments, as opposed to banks, has been less successful, administration and European officials say.

The main targets are Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Austria, the Netherlands, Sweden and Britain, all with extensive business dealings with Iran, particularly in energy. Administration officials say, however, that Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, the current head of the European Union, has been responsive.

Europe has more commercial and economic ties with Iran than does the United States, which severed relations with Iran after the revolution and seizure of hostages in 1979.

Yes, that's right, the United States severed relations with Iran in 1979.

For all those who say that America acts only in its self-interest, or only in pursuit of oil, this is proof that there thesis is just not true. The fact is, America also severed relations with Iraq after the Gulf War. In other words, because we believed Iran and Iraq to be immoral and dangerous threats to the world, the United States refused to deal with two of the largest oil-producing nations in the world.

Meanwhile, Europe kept pumping away at those oil wells. And, opposing taking any action to end the regimes, and alleviate the suffering of those who live under their evil authority.

I love our European readers, and I am sorry if this post sounds harsh, but it is true.

The real meaning of the popular phrase, "No War for Oil," is, "No War, because we need oil."

Or, in other words, "We say, 'No War,' for oil.

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