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November 29, 2015 / 17 Kislev, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘sanctions’

US Senator Chuck Schumer: American Sanctions Can Stand Alone

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has come back swinging after liberal groups egged on by the White House have attacked his integrity and financial base in an effort to discredit his decision to oppose the nuclear deal with Iran.

The MoveOn.org advocacy organization has mobilized its thousands of members to withdraw financial support for Schumer, who is positioned to become to leading Democrat in the next Senate.

That move came immediately following Schumer’s announcement that he would vote against IranDeal, after days of reviewing the data and maintaining silence on the matter.

Finally, when the senator made his decision, he pointed out there were other ways to deal with Iran.

“Let’s not forget, those secondary sanctions are very powerful,” Schumer told a news conference in New York during his announcement last week. “We have that powerful tool and if used, I think that’s a better, better chance in a very difficult world than an agreement that is so totally flawed.”

Sanctions aimed at international firms who do business with Iran can force European allies and trade partners back to the negotiating table, says Schumer. And such sanctions will hurt Iran.

Sanctions aimed at corporations such as the French oil firm Total, for instance, would send the message that if it chooses to deal with Iran, it will not be able to do business with the United States, he said.

Asked if he would try to convinced his fellow senators to vote with him against the deal, Schumer said yes, but added that “anyone who thinks you can force somebody to vote with you in the Senate doesn’t understand the Senate.” He added bluntly, “This is a vote of conscience.”

Iranian Oil Production Rises in July

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

Iranian crude oil production rose to 3.13 million barrels per day in July.

The hike brought Iran’s oil production to its highest level in two years, according to the monthly report by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The figure was an increase of six tenths of a percent from the previous month.

According to the OPEC accountant, however, Iranian oil production was actually at 2.86 million bpd – still a healthy increase of 1.1 percent over June.

Iran’s pre-sanction production was at 3.6 million bpd of crude oil.

Iran was among the 12 OPEC members contributing to overall gains in production last month, said OPEC, which reported that crude oil prices dropped by at least $10 per barrel.

The organization blamed “the outcome of the P5+1 talks on Iran’s nuclear program” as well as financial concerns in Greece and China for the market conditions.

In January, Mohsen Rezaei, secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council said that exports had dropped by 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd), pulling out more than $100 billion in lost revenue from the country due to the sanctions.

Under the terms of a November 2013 agreement, Iran is allowed to export some oil in exchange for its commitment to restrict some of its nuclear research activities, UPI noted in a report on Tuesday.

More to the point, the newly-signed nuclear agreement between Iran and the U.S.-led delegation of world powers has begun to lead numerous global energy firms, from Royal Dutch Shell to Italy’s Eni, to visit with an eye toward reviewing potential business opportunities with the Islamic Republic.

Last December, Iran was already producing just under 2.8 million bpd, about 20 percent less than its production levels in 2011.

At present, however, Iran is limited to exporting approximately one million bpd, and to six nations, under the terms of existing sanctions.

Iran Banks on End to Sanctions, Will Raise Oil Production to 1M bpd

Sunday, August 2nd, 2015

Iran is already banking on the passage of the nuclear deal it signed with the U.S. and world powers last month in Vienna. Its government plans to raise its output of oil to one million barrels per day within months after sanctions are lifted, according to Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh.

In remarks broadcast on Sunday, Zanganeh said, “We are already doing the marketing, and within a day after the lifting of sanctions, we will raise [production] by 500,000 barrels per day.” Within months, he said, production would double to one million bpd.

Much of the current oil production in the Middle East is flowing from Iraqi Kurdistan through Turkey into Europe and elsewhere, although some of the oil still comes from Iran. There may soon be competition from another quarter, however.

Recently the executive director of Russia’s Union of Gas and Oil Industrialists told RIA Novosti, however, that as soon as the situation in Syria is stabilized, Russian oil and gas companies are likely to revive their contracts with that government.

Gissa Guchetl told the newspaper the companies held contracts worth a total of $1.6 billion, that froze their work because of the civil war that has since destroyed that country.

Nevertheless, he said, “If military actions cease and the situation becomes stable … [they] will be ready to renew their activity within a short period of time.” A week ago Guchetl met in Damascus over the issue with Syrian Prime Minister Wael Nadr Halqi and Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister Suleiman Abbas.

The two Syrians told Guchetl they are interested in Russian companies supplying crude and other oil products to Syria, and in cooperation with Chinese firms to increase oil exploration in Syrian fields that are safe from “rebel attacks.”

Netanyahu Answers Obama with Khamenei’s Words

Sunday, July 19th, 2015


Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu used the Iranian leader’s own words Sunday morning to answer President Barack Obama’s claim that the nuclear agreement with Iran is the best option available.

The Prime Minister used the weekly Cabinet meeting as a platform for another offensive in the long-distance verbal battle with President Obama, who is trying to sell “ObamaDeal.’

One of the most directly opposite claims by both leaders concerns other options.

President Obama, joined on Friday by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, argue that no one has suggested a better alternative, while Prime Minister Netanyahu reiterated Sunday:

The alternative to this failed agreement, which we proposed repeatedly, is the continuation and strengthening of the sanctions on Iran and conditioning the lifting of the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program, and the lifting of the pressure on Iran, only if it changes its policy. As long as the Iranian leadership is encouraging calls of ‘Death to America’ and ‘Death to Israel’, there is no reason to make any concessions to them.

Obama has claimed that sanctions will be dropped by major countries even if an agreement were not reached. Kerry told PBS on Friday that “no alternative” has been offered and that Iran won’t be “crushed” by continuing sanctions “because we will lose the other people who are helping to provide those sanctions’

He added, “So, there is a lot of fantasy out there about this quote ‘better deal.'”

The Obama administration’s assumption that sanctions cannot continue is speculative, and no substantive claims have been made to support or deny the theory.

Netanyahu raised another objection to the deal, one that is proving much harder for President Obama to defend. Lifting sanctions will pump more than $150 billion into Iran’s bank accounts, and even President Obama admitted that “some” of the money will be used to fund Hezbollah and other terrorist fronts that are a direct threat to Israel.

Netanyahu said Sunday:

If someone thought that the extraordinary concessions to Iran would lead to a change in its policy, they received an unequivocal answer over the weekend in Iranian ruler Khamenei’s aggressive and contrary speech.

The Iranians aren’t even trying to hide the fact that they will use the hundreds of billions that they will receive under this agreement in order to arm their terror machine and they are clearly saying that they will continue their struggle against the US and its allies, first among them being Israel, of course.


What Sanctions? Iran Receives 13 Tons of Gold From S. Africa

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

The Central Bank of Iran took deliver of 13 tons of Iran’s gold reserves from South Africa, worth close to $12 billion, Iranian Bank Governor Volilollah Seif announced on Wednesday, according to IRNA.

Seif said that Iran’s delegation to Vienna had taken up the issue of the gold reserves last week, in the course of the nuclear talks. Once again, Iran got everything it asked for.

Seif explained that the shipments of Iranian gold reserves, purchased from South Africa two years ago, had been blocked due to the sanctions.

The Central Bank governor confirmed that three shipments had been returned to the central bank since the start of the week, and on Tuesday night “the last parcel of that gold reserve, weighing four tons, arrived in Iran and was delivered to the safe of the CBI.”

Around $100 billion of Iranian assets have been frozen by the various sanctions, though sanctions were supposed to still be suspended until a deal was reached on Iran’s nuclear program as well as its support for terrorist organizations and developing ballistic missiles.

Iran already received $4.2 billion in thawed assets under the 2013 interim agreement with the US, followed by another $2.8 billion that the Obama administration freed last year to keep Iran at the negotiating table.

Iran has already been able to free up some 20% of its frozen assets, around $19 billion. At best, that’s without doing anything, and at worse, that’s while continuing to rush towards a nuclear bomb.

So much for sanctions.

Iran Grants Venezuela $500 Million Line of Credit

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

Iran has granted Venezuela a $500 million line of credit, according to the Saudi website, Aawsat.

The line of credit is part of a larger framework of six economic cooperation agreements with Venezuela.

Back in 2012, when Iran was banned from SWIFT banking transactions, which could have actually kept it out of much of the international markets and made the sanctions even more effective, Iran easily bypassed the problem with an alternative, rogue financial system it help set up with some South American countries, including Venezuela.

The system had already been set up by Iran in anticipation of the SWIFT ban.

The Iranians are demanding an immediate lifting of sanctions and freeing of their assets as part of the nuclear deal with President Obama.

Sometimes it appears the Iranians are always 2 steps ahead of the U.S.

New York State Assembly Passes Anti-BDS Resolution

Friday, June 19th, 2015

The New York State Assembly on Thursday passed a resolution rejecting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, becoming the latest state government to do so.

The resolution, introduced by Assemblyman Walter T. Mosley (D-Brooklyn) and co-sponsored by 74 other members, rejects BDS activities that “undermine efforts to achieve a negotiated two-state solution and the right of Israelis and Palestinians to self-determination.”

The resolution states:

This Legislative Body is concerned that the international Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement and its agenda are damaging to the causes of peace, justice, equality, democracy, and human rights for all peoples in the Middle East.

The resolution also recognizes Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state and says the U.S. and Israel share “a common bond rooted in the values of freedom, democracy, and equal rights.”

The New York resolution follows anti-BDS measures in several other states, most recently in Illinois, which prohibited state pension funds from including in their portfolios companies that participate in the BDS movement. State legislatures in Indiana and Tennessee also recently passed resolutions condemning BDS, but those measures were non-binding, as opposed to the Illinois bill’s specific economic action.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/new-york-state-assembly-passes-anti-bds-resolution/2015/06/19/

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