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President Obama Lessens Iran Sanctions Before Nuclear Deal Is Reached

IranI’ll be the first person to admit how little I know about foreign affairs. I often think we have entirely too much involvement in the affairs of other countries and want America to be left alone. We need to tend to our own rat killing and for the most part, allow other countries to do the same. That doesn’t mean we can not collaborate on certain issues, but I lean more than a little libertarian in my view of foreign affairs. Having said that, there are times when we have to stand by our allies, and we have a strong history of doing just that.

Let me state here, unequivocally, that I consider Israel to be one of our most important allies. The reasons I believe so strongly about Israel would be the subject of a different post, but suffice it to say, I am on their side in most of the actions they undertake to protect their homeland and the people who live there. I might also point out, that protection extends to Jews and Arabs alike.

Israel has not had an easy time of making their little country work. Their enemies abound on every side, with more than a few of them openly stating their goal is the destruction of Israel. The most notable of these enemies is Iran. The Iranian constitution calls for the destruction of the Zionist regime, meaning Israel. Keep that in mind as we move forward with this post.

From the beginning of Barack Obama’s first term in the White House, there have been many questions about his feelings towards Israel. His relationship with Benjamin Netanyahu has been strained, to say the least. Obama wants Netanyahu to toe the line he has drawn, but the Israeli Prime Minister is stubborn on that account. As with most Israeli leaders, his primary concern is the security of Israel. If that happens to not fall into line with the interests of whomever happens to be President of America, then so be it. Israel is like that, you see. They want nothing more than to be left alone and to be allowed to protect themselves from their enemies. That’s probably a result of suffering the deaths of six million plus Jews in World War II. But, I digress.

President Obama has played nicety nice with Iran since the election of Hassan Rouhani in June of this year. In spite of Benjamin Netanyahu’s warning about the man, this nicety nice has continued. In spite of Iran’s open declaration that Israel should be destroyed, Obama seems to be on best terms with Hassan Rouhani. In spite of an accelerated Iranian nuclear program, as well as the history of Hassan Rouhani as principle negotiator who has admitted lying about his country’s nuclear ambitions, Obama continues his efforts to befriend the man.

This is what the rest of us see in the public view. What you may not know is what has gone on behind the scenes. While browsing through some of my morning reading, I discovered this on Poor Richard’s News. The Obama administration has been quietly lifting the sanctions that were put in place to limit Iran’s ability to obtain the nuclear capability it so much desires. In spite of his rhetoric that the sanctions would not be lifted without a deal with Iran to limit or stop its nuclear program, that is exactly what President Obama has been doing since June.

The Daily Beast - The Obama administration began softening sanctions on Iran after the election of Iran’s new president in June, months before the current round of nuclear talks in Geneva or the historic phone call between the two leaders in September.

While those negotiations now appear on the verge of a breakthrough the key condition for Iran—relief from crippling sanctions—began quietly and modestly five months ago.

A review of Treasury Department notices reveals that the U.S. government has all but stopped the financial blacklisting of entities and people that help Iran evade international sanctions since the election of its president, Hassan Rouhani, in June.

You should read the rest of the article to learn how this blacklisting works. President Obama and his administration is denying the sanctions have been lifted, but the proof is hard to ignore.

Mark Dubowitz, the executive director of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, an organization that has worked closely with Congress and the administration on devising the current Iranian sanctions, said the slow pace of designations was only one kind of sanctions relief Obama has been offering Iran.

“For five months, since Rouhani’s election, the United States has offered Iran two major forms of sanctions relief,” Dubowitz said. “First there’s been a significant slowdown in the pace of designations while the Iranians are proliferating the number of front companies and cutouts to bust sanctions.”

The second kind of relief Dubowitz said the White House had offered Iran was through its opposition to new Iran sanctions legislation supported by both parties in Congress.

By Dubowitz’s estimates, Iran is now selling between 150,000 and 200,000 barrels of oil per day on the black market, meaning that Iran has profited from the illicit sale of over 35 million barrels of oil since Rouhani took office, with little additional measures taken by the United States to counter it.

Sounds like Obama decided to enter the Persian nuclear bazaar to haggle with the masters of negotiation and has had his head handed to him,” Dubowitz said.

There are a couple of viewpoints I could take on this. I know a lot of people believe President Obama is naive and very much in over his head with the Presidency. I have held that view before and I’m not sure I have completely abandoned it. Some of the actions he has taken since moving into the White House makes me wonder just how smart he really is.

On the other hand, I often wonder if Obama isn’t one of the most calculating presidents we have ever elected. He has a certain agenda and he seldom deviates from it. We have witnessed this, firsthand, with the advent of Obamacare. It seemed to be the number one priority of his first term. His second term is being devoted to its implementation, among other things. He has already shown he has no qualms about lying to the American people, if doing so furthers his agenda.

Remember the message Obama gave to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to deliver to Vladimir Putin? He specifically told him he would have more flexibility after the 2012 election was over and he had his second term. At the time, we all thought he was talking about the missile defense program. I am beginning to believe there was much more flexibility implied than we first believed.

The country who is arguably our most important ally in the world, especially in the Middle East, is facing the threat of being annihilated by Iran. Over and over, our government has declared Iran should not be allowed to gain the capability of nuclear weapons. The sanctions were put into place, not only to prevent that from happening, but to also put Iran in a place to be willing to make real concessions in their nuclear program. And now, because President Obama is feeling good about Iran and its new President, he is undoing the sanctions that have done the job they were designed to do.

There is plenty of evidence to suggest President Obama believes he is the smartest man in any room. He is has a reputation for not listening to his briefings or his advisers. (Unless it happens to be Valarie Jarrett.) There is one of two scenarios playing out between the Obama administration and Iran. Either President Obama really believes he has the upper hand with Hassan Rouhani and Iran, or he is willingly enabling their nuclear program.

If it is the latter, then the man is even more dangerous than I thought. If it is the first, then Obama needs to listen to people like Benjamin Netanyahu. He has had experience with Iran and its leaders. He knows they can not be trusted to tell the truth. Either way, the Middle East is about to get a lot more complicated. By design or by accident, it doesn’t really matter. I would suggest Israel start looking over their shoulder when an official from the Obama administration tells them to trust what we are doing. They may find they already have tire tracks on their back from the bush Obama is driving.

About LD Jackson

LD Jackson has written 1991 posts in this blog.

Founder and author of the political and news commentary blog Political Realities. I have always loved to write, but never have I felt my writing was more important than in this present day. If I have changed one mind or impressed one American about the direction our country is headed, then I will consider my endeavors a success. I take the tag line on this blog very seriously. Above all else, in search of the truth.

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  • http://TexasFred.net/ TexasFred

    One thing that Obama truly is; the most despicable person in the room, I won’t even call him a man..

    Valerie Jarrett is his pug faced little attack dog, she runs Obama’s world more than he does, and she is Iranian… Things that make you go Hmmmm…

    • http://www.ldjackson.net/ LD Jackson

      Lots of things about this administration make me go Hmmmmm… Trust them, I do not.

  • Hugh Petersen

    Nothing in your comments is surprising. To put it simply, Obama hates America and Israel and, as he himself has said, sides with the Muslims. Guess why? He really is a Muslim. Take a look at the people he has placed around him. Let’s just look at Samantha Power, a close advisor with a record of standing AGAINST Israel. Surrounding himself with people who share his ideology makes it easy to see the true Obama. Because of Obama Iran will get the bomb, Israel will be in serious jeopardy, and the Unites States of America will be Fu**ed. The majority of Americans have no idea of what this man and the far Left are doing to this country in so many ways and through so many agencies.

    • http://www.ldjackson.net/ LD Jackson

      If Obama does enable Iran to achieve nuclear weapon capability, as I suspect he will do, all bets are off with Israel. They have went through some very rough times in their history and they have no intention of sitting back and relying on another country’s assurances about their security. Even if it is America. They will almost certainly take matters into their own hands, in a time and place of their choosing. You can not blame them for that.

  • Joe Giusto

    If Obama has indeed opened the gates…already…for Iran to evade our sanctions, WHERE are the Republican Congressmen?

    • http://www.ldjackson.net/ LD Jackson

      That’s a very good question, Joe. I wouldn’t mind knowing the answer to that myself.

  • Steven Birn

    Reagan’s vision of the world was one where nuclear weapons ere destroyed. Obama’s vision is one in which everyone has a nuke, even evil nations such as Iran. Obama’s vision of nuclear diplomacy is disturbing, especially in light of all his international failures.

    • http://www.ldjackson.net/ LD Jackson

      He doesn’t have a good track record on the international stage. And don’t forget, we still have another three years before he retires to Hawaii.

  • conservativesonfire

    I fear that this administration has set in motion; with its support of the “Arab Spring” and its gun-running to Syria and now its willingness to negotiate with Iran, a chain of events that will bring nothing but chaos to the region. Many, many lives will be lost as a result.

    • http://www.ldjackson.net/ LD Jackson

      I would not disagree with your assessment. I believe Israel is almost certain to react with force, if they feel their security is threatened. If and when they do, they will be made out to be a pariah, no doubt. I wouldn’t be surprised to see all the blame hoisted on their shoulders, no matter what Iran is up to.

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  • Mustang

    I surmise there is only one possibility. The Iranian leadership (who have been at the statecraft business now for close to 4,000 years) are laughing their asses off at the Idiot in Chief. Shame on America for electing such a bozo to begin with, and then compounding that egregious error by reelecting the retard.

    • Always On Watch

      Mustang,
      Yeah, they’re laughing like mad.

      Meanwhile, America snoozes on — and trusts Moslems. Sheesh.

  • Always On Watch

    According to this source:

    Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif underlined that any final deal should be agreed upon by all the seven sides (Iran, the US, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany) participating in Geneva talks, and said that Tehran under no condition will accept plans writtenby others, Fars News reported.

    “We do not accept anyone to write a plan for us (to obey),” Zarif said prior to attending a trilateral meeting with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in
    Geneva on Saturday….

    War is deception!

  • Capitol Commentary

    Obama did the exact same thing with Russia. He essentially ditched Poland and the Czech Republic’s backing – at great risk – of radar tracking stations for SDI. He did that “hoping” Russia would help us with Iran (they didn’t) and that contributed to the fall of the Czech government.

    In short, Obama is a terrible leader paying back our friends with spite and giving our enemies help.

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