The Obama administration, ever eager to hand out more benefits to the enemies of Israel, the United States, and the rest of Western Civilization, is now planning to help Iran obtain access to U.S. dollars — which will help Iran buy more on the international markets, the Wall Street Journal reports today.

This concession by the U.S. to Iran is apparently being made because Iran has asserted that the unsigned, non-binding deal Iran entered into last year with the United States and other countries does not provide enough benefits to Iran.


At the same time that the Obama administration is trying to figure out how to give Iran access to U.S. dollars, the administration’s own Treasury Department still maintains that the entire Iranian banking system is one big “primary money laundering concern.”

Money laundering is a financial transaction designed to conceal what money is used for or where it came from. President Obama’s Treasury Department, not yet having completely unmoored itself from reality or common sense, sees Iran’s financial system as a money laundering operation because Iran moves money around to support a variety of programs that the rest of the world asserts – usually – are impermissible for Iran to engage in, such as funding terror organizations all around the world like Hezbollah and Hamas, as well as Iranian missile programs that some still believe Iran is barred from operating. To accomplish this, Iran conceals the true sources and uses of the money. That’s the money laundering.

But while the Treasury Department doesn’t want Iran to have access to dollars, the Treasury Department and the State Department want Iran to have access to U.S. dollars. Yes, you read that correctly. After all, says Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, we here in the United States must of course comply with “the letter and the spirit” of the unsigned, non-binding-on-Iran “agreement.”

Surprisingly for the most powerful economy in the world, the big worry here is not only that Iran will be unhappy with the U.S., but also that a continued ban on Iranian access to dollars “will ultimately drive business activity away form the U.S. financial system.” To say that more clearly: While the U.S. might prefer that Iran not engage in all these transactions, it’s going to do so anyway, and if we don’t help, Iran will simply conduct the transactions in another currency. Since we can’t beat ‘em, we might as well join ‘em.

The combination of these two pressures is apparently simply irresistible to the Obama administration, and as a result, in March, Lew told a congressional committee that the administration “will make sure Iran gets relief” from restrictions that limit its access to dollars. The relief will come in the form of changes in Treasury regulations, so no pesky Congressmen, or annoyances like a vote of the U.S. legislature, will be involved.

A few of those irritating Congressmen have complained to the administration about these proposed changes. They’ve written angry letters to President Obama and Secretary Lew. Those letters have had as much impact as your letters to The New York Times about its coverage of Israel.

Of course, readers with long memories may recall that back in the summer, when the Iran agreement was not yet an unsigned unbinding – usually – deal, Lew said this about the agreement’s impact on Iran’s access to dollars: after the agreement becomes final (he did not tell us it would be unsigned, of course, or non-binding, at least on Iran) “Iranian banks will not be able to clear U.S. dollars through New York, hold correspondent account relationships with U.S. financial institutions, or enter into financial arrangements with U.S. banks.”


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Lori Lowenthal Marcus is a contributor to the A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email:


  1. You talk as if US is paying Iran from its own pocket. No, it's Iran's own money and under the nuclear deal which has had many setbacks for Iran's progress towards a peaceful nuclear programme, Iran is entitled to receive its own money illegaly blocked for many years.

    Also Iran – which has not attacked any country in 200 years but has been subject to attacks from the likes of Saddam – cannot make missiles to protect itself, but Israel which threatens to attack Iran on a daily basis is entitled to have the largest nuclear weapons arsenal in the world? That's what I call April Fool's day joke.

  2. What stupid muslim!!! Iran is attacking every country with it's proxy terrorists! But to a stupid loser muslim, who cuts their daughters' clitorisis off, what would you expect them to say! Especillay, when their most hated people(they hate everyone) but their most hated, the Jews, who have one tiny country, are more powerful and successful that the entire muslim world! In short stupid muslim, why are you living in a free western counry and not wallowing in feces in one of your useless backward muslim countries! Go post on a jihad site!!

  3. Between 1804 and 1813, Iran and Russia fought a bloody conflict in the Caucasus which ended with the 1813 Treaty of Gulistan. Iran’s Qajar dynasty leader, Fath Ali Shah, admittedly at the goading of the British and tempted by promised aid, broke the treaty and re-invaded the territory 13 years later. It was a disastrous move; Russia pushed back Iranian forces and ended up taking what now is Armenia and the southern portion of independent Azerbaijan.

    Then there was the Anglo-Persian War of 1856-1857. Persian forces invaded western Afghanistan to press their claim to Herat. British-Indian forces invaded Iran at Bushehr to compel the withdrawal of Persian forces, which they successfully did. (One of the what-if’s of history is what might have happened if the India Mutiny had occurred a year earlier; after all, the British utilized forces which had been in Persia the previous year and cannons seized during the campaign to put down the 1858 revolt in their prize colony). In addition, border skirmishes at the southern tip of the Shatt al-Arab were common in the first decade of the twentieth century as Iranian forces sought both to consolidate control over their territory and, at times, push into Basra, southern Iraq’s major city.

    But that’s ancient history, right? After all, isn’t it quibbling to say that Iran actually hasn’t waged aggressive war in 150 years rather 250 years?

  4. That would be a hoot. Russia world power. At least they aren't Muslim and they aren't concerned with political correctness. Putin is many tes over the man Obama is. Obama is a waste. He needs to crawl back into the garbage can he crawled out of. I certainly trust Putin much more than Obama.

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