Washington's war on Iran
includes cyber attacks, other sabotage, targeted assassinations, deadly
explosions, sophisticated satellite, drone, and other type spying, bogus
accusations, a virtual blockade, hostile saber rattling, multiple rounds
of sanctions, and attempts to cripple its central bank and oil industry.
Targeting its nuclear industry is a red herring. At issue is replacing
an independent regime with a pro-Western one. All options are considered,
including war. If others fail, expect it, perhaps with nuclear weapons
targeting its underground facilities. The potential consequences are
On March 17, the Belgium-based Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial
Telecommunication (SWIFT) said it cut services to Iranian financial
institutions subject to EU sanctions. SWIFT serves as a financial and
communication clearing system most major global banks use.
Iran no longer may transfer funds to or from other worldwide banks conventionally.
Henceforth, its trade must be conducted other ways, including how it
sells oil. It accounts for 80% of Tehran's exports and half of government
Iran's able to circumvent Washington through China, Russia, India, and
other nations eager to do business. They oppose policies harming their
own interests. So do Brazil, South Africa, and others globally. One
day perhaps most will.
On July 1, an imposed oil embargo becomes effective. It includes crude
oil, petroleum and petrochemical products, oil related business, equipment
and technology, selling Tehran refined products, new investments, and
dealing with Iran's central bank.
So far it hasn't worked and won't. Major Iranian customers and allies
won't comply. They include China, Russia, India, Turkey, Japan, South
Korea, and others.
In addition, Washington exempted 11 countries, including Belgium, Britain,
the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands,
Poland and Spain.
By imposing its own sanctions, EU nations shot themselves in the foot.
Europe buys 20% of its oil from Iran. Its valued high quality won't
easily be replaced. No combination of Gulf states can do it, including
Saudi Arabia. Nor can heavy oil suppliers. European refineries can't
handle it without costly upgrades.
Moreover, targeting Iranian oil exports sent US WTI crude up to $103
a barrel and European brent to $123 as of March 30 closing prices. Increased
tensions may head it much higher. Independent analysts agree. Whoever
planned this scheme should be fired. Iran's beating Washington and EU
nations at their own game.
On March 30, a White House statement said:
"Today the President made the determination required under Section 1245(d)(4)(B)
and (C) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012
regarding the supply of petroleum and petroleum products from countries
other than Iran."
Section 1245 designates Iran's financial sector a primary money laundering
concern. Doing so codifies an earlier U.S. Treasury Department ruling.
As a result, Obama's authorized to freeze, seize, "block and prohibit
all transactions in all property and interests in property of....Iranian
financial institution(s) if such property and interests in property
are in the United States, come within the United States, or are or come
within the possession or control of the United States."
He may also impose sanctions on foreign financial institutions, engaging
in certain transactions with Iran's Central Bank and other Iranian financial
institutions named by the Treasury Secretary to be included in the Departmentís
List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (its SDN
On March 30, The New York Times headlined, "Obama Finds Oil in Markets
Is Sufficient to Sideline Iran," saying:
"After careful analysis," Obama claims enough world oil around to make
up for reduced Iranian exports. He lied. Nothing he says is credible,
including about an alleged Iranian nuclear threat. Political Washington
knows none whatever exists or that replacing Iran's oil is possible.
America may affect perceptions but not reality. Iran's oil exports won't
be affected enough to matter. Either way, other nations can't compensate
for more than small amounts lost.
Nonetheless, Iranian oil importers were told they have until mid-year
to find other sources or face "imposition of severe sanctions on their
financial institutions," according to sanctions law co-author Senator
Robert Menendez (D-NJ).
Scoundrel Media Support
Major US media scoundrels march in lockstep with Washington. Because
of its global reach and influence, The New York Times has special weight.
Serving as a voice for wealth and power, "All The News (it claims) Fit
to Print" is best avoided to be well informed. The same goes for the
Washington Post, another influential broadsheet.
The NY Times eXaminer (nyexaminer.com) serves as "An antidote to the
'paper of record.' " It offers a valued service doing it.
On March 16, it headlined, "Contempt for International Law: A Survey
of New York Times and Washington Post Editorials on Iran," saying:
Both broadsheets regurgitate official lies, debase international and
constitutional law, and betray their readers in the process.
A two-year analysis of their editorials on Iran's nuclear program provides
ample evidence. NY Times eXaminer covered the period March 16, 2010
through March 15, 2012.
The NYT had 18 editorials, the Post 22. How US and Israeli actions and
threats spurn international law got no mention. One NYT and two Post
editorials addressed the effect of sanctions on ordinary Iranians. Only
power, not people, matter.
Iranian civilians' views on imposed sanctions were ignored. One NYT
and no Post editorial recognized Iran's legal right to develop nuclear
power like dozens of other countries worldwide. Except for North Korea,
none face US sanctions, including known nuclear outlaws India, Pakistan
All are nuclear armed and dangerous. The topic went unaddressed. In
contrast, each paper supported US/UN sanctions in 17 editorials. The
same number in both spuriously claimed Iran seeks nuclear weapons. Doing
so ignores years of US intelligence and IAEA assessments, as well as
Both papers "go beyond simply ignoring the law," the eXaminer said.
They cheerlead Obama keeping "all options....on the table." They include
preemptive, aggressive, illegal war against a nonbelligerent country
threatening no one.
Both papers know it, but support lawlessness anyway. The Post even criticized
Obama for being soft. Neither broadsheet ever met a US war or planned
one they didn't wholeheartedly endorse.
They also favor Israel assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists, and
lie saying Iran violates international law. In fact, it's nuclear program
fully complies with NPT provisions.
In contrast, Washington long ago abandoned them. By spurning NPT, so
did India, Pakistan, and Israel. They're all nuclear outlaws. Not a
word about noncompliance from either paper.
Both endorse wrong over right. Truth and full disclosure's spurned.
Legitimate journalism's mocked. Readers are betrayed. No wonder years
of circulation declines have both papers close to bankruptcy.
Contemptuous of the public's right to know, they crossed that threshold
long ago ethically, morally, and journalistically.
Like other major media scoundrels, managed news misinformation and suppressed
truths substitute for what writers are supposed to do - their job.
Why else would growing numbers use independent, mainly online, sources
for what corporate ones don't provide. Maybe one day everyone will.
It can't happen soon enough.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge
discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News
Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time
and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy