Blog-Archive

US Polls on Iran Nuclear Deal

Nearly two-thirds of Americans support an agreement with Iran that would lift sanctions in return for Tehran restricting its nuclear program, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Some 72 percent of Democrats surveyed support such a deal compared with 57 percent of Republicans. But only 36 percent of all participants are confident that such a deal would prevent Iran from attaining nuclear weapons. The poll was conducted between November 14 and 17 on the eve of new talks between Iran and the world’s six major powers.
A CNN/ORC International poll also found that 56 percent of Americans support an interim deal. The results also indicated a partisan divide, with about two-thirds of Democrats supporting a deal. Only about 45 percent of Republicans were in favor of one. The following are excerpts from both surveys. 

The Washington Post/ABC News

Question: Thinking now about the situation with Iran, would you support or oppose an agreement in which the United States and other countries would lift some of their economic sanctions against Iran, in exchange for Iran restricting its nuclear program in a way that makes it harder for it to produce nuclear weapons?

Gefährliche Geschäfte – Deutsche Deals mit dem Iran (ARD)

Unterlaufen deutsche Firmen heimlich die Wirtschaftssanktionen gegen den Iran? Seit Jahren hält das Mullah-Regime mit seinem Atomprogramm die ganze Welt in Atem und verweigert sich jeder Kontrolle. Ein nuklear bewaffneter Gottesstaat würdezur Bedrohung weit über die Region hinaus. Darum gelten für den Iranhandel so scharfe Beschränkungen wie für kaum ein anderes Land der Welt.

Hamburger Hafen (Bild: HR) Deutschland ist für den Iran der größte westliche Technologielieferant.
Dennoch entfaltet sich ein reges Wirtschaftsleben und Deutschland ist nach wie vor der wichtigste westliche Handelspartner des Iran. 2012 haben deutsche Firmen Waren im Wert von 2,5 Milliarden Euro an den Iran geliefert. Doch es scheint weit mehr zu sein. Denn dies sei nur der direkte Handel, erklärt die deutsch-iranische Handelskammer in Teheran — die vom Bundeswirtschaftsministerium finanziert wird — in einer internen Broschüre.

Offiziell halten sich natürlich alle Unternehmen an die Sanktionsbestimmungen, doch so einfach will man den lukrativen Markt nicht aufgeben. Immer offener machen deutsche Firmen Front gegen die Sanktionen. Und ganz diskret wählen sie zunehmend „alternative Handelsrouten“.

Ein wahrer Wirtschaftskrimi

Die Reportage folgt den verschlungenen Pfaden, auf denen deutsche Technologie allen Sanktionen zum Trotz in den Iran gelangt. Peter Gerhardt und Ahmed Senyurt haben sich auf die Suche gemacht nach den Akteuren dieser gefährlichen Deals und kommen einem wahren Wirtschaftskrimi auf die Spur.

Die Recherche führte sie auch in die Türkei, die dabei eine Hauptrolle spielt und sich als Transitland anbietet. Hier sind die Kontrollen lasch und die Grenzen offen.

Ein Flächenbrand scheint abzusehen

Der amerikanische Präsident hat jüngst erklärt, dass die USA eine iranische Atombombe nicht tolerieren werden. Gleichzeitig droht Israel mit militärischen Gegenschlägen. Ein militärischer Flächenbrand im Nahen Osten scheint nur noch eine Frage der Zeit.

Vor diesem Hintergrund deckt die Reportage zahlreiche legale und halblegale Lücken an der Embargofront auf, die am Ende dem Iran genauso nützen wie der deutschen Wirtschaft.

Ein Film von Peter Gerhardt und und Ahmet Senyurt

 

Iran Sanctions | Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses

Iran Sanctions

13 June 2013 | Publisher: United States Congressional Research Service | Document type: Country Reports

 

Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses

17 June 2013 | Publisher: United States Congressional Research Service | Document type: Country Reports

 

Source: United States Congressional Research Service, Iran Sanctions, 13 June 2013, RS20871 , available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/51d53e894.html %5Baccessed 5 July 2013]

 

OFAC Releases Additional Frequently Asked Questions Relating to the Implementation of the Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act of 2012 (IFCA) and Executive Order 13645

Questions Related to the Issuance of the Executive Order “Authorizing the Implementation of Certain Sanctions Set Forth in the Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act of 2012 and Additional Sanctions With Respect to Iran” and the Implementation of Certain Provisions of the Iran Freedom And Counter-Proliferation Act of 2012 (IFCA)
On June 3, 2013, the President signed an Executive Order (E.O.) “Authorizing the Implementation of Certain Sanctions Set Forth in the Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act of 2012 and Additional Sanctions With Respect to Iran.” The E.O. implements certain statutory provisions of the Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act of 2012 (IFCA) and authorizes the imposition of additional sanctions with respect to Iran. Most of the IFCA provisions target conduct occurring on or after July 1, 2013. The E.O. becomes effective on July 1, 2013.
General Questions
313 What is the Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act of 2012 (IFCA)?
288 What is the purpose of the Executive Order of June 3, 2013 entitled “Authorizing the Implementation of Certain Sanctions Set Forth in the Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act of 2012 and Additional Sanctions With Respect to Iran” (E.O.)?
Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act of 2012
289 How will the following IFCA terms be interpreted: “Iran,” “knowingly,” “significant,” “transfer,” “Iranian person included on the SDN List ”?
290 Are payments or deliveries that are made on or after July 1, 2013, for contracts that existed prior to July 1, 2013, exempted from IFCA provisions?
291 How does the Executive Order relate to the IFCA provisions?
292 What are the implications of IFCA on the provision of humanitarian goods to the people of Iran?
Sanctions Relating to Iran’s Energy, Shipping, and Shipbuilding Sectors
IFCA provides for sanctions involving activities or transactions related to Iran’s energy, shipping, and shipbuilding sectors. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

Iran’s Medical Shortages: Who’s Responsible?

Iran-Pharmacy

by Jasmin Ramsey

Press reports about medical supply shortages in Iran, some of which have described devastating consequences, have been surfacing in the last two years, while debate rages on about who’s responsible — the Iranian government or the sanctions regime. Siamak Namazi, a Dubai-based business consultant and former Public Policy Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, admits the Iranian government shares responsibility but says sanctions are the main culprit. Humanitarian trade may be exempted from the sanctions, says Namazi, but that isn’t enough when the banking valve required to carry out the transactions is being strangled. “[I]f [sanctions advocates] maintain the sanctions regime is fine as it is, then how come they try to promote substitution from China and India?” asks Namazi. The following Q&A with Namazi was conducted in Washington, DC.

Q: You recently authored a policy paper published by the Woodrow Wilson Center where you essentially blame medical shortages in Iran on Western sanctions. How did you reach this conclusion?

Siamak Namazi: We concluded that the Iranian government deserves firm criticism for mismanagement of the crisis, poor allocation of scarce foreign currency resources and failing to crack down on corrupt practices, but the main culprit are the sanctions that regulate financial transactions with Iran. So, while Tehran can and should take further steps to improve the situation, it cannot solve this problem on its own. As sanctions are tightened more and more, things are likely to get worse unless barriers to humanitarian trade are removed through narrow adjustments to the sanctions regime.

My team and I reached these conclusions after interviewing senior officers among pharmaceutical suppliers, namely European and American companies in Dubai, as well as private importers and distributors of medicine in Tehran. We also spoke to a number of international banks. None of us had any financial stake in the pharmaceutical business, whatsoever, and we all worked pro bono. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

President Obama Signs Order for New Sanctions Targeting Iranian Currency

By Dan Robinson, VOA

WHITE HOUSE – U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday signed an order imposing additional sanctions on Iran, for the first time directly targeting Iran’s currency, the rial. It’s the latest U.S. step to increase pressure on Iran to change course on its nuclear program.


A woman walking past a currency exchange shop in Tehran

The executive order further intensifies the second track of the Obama administration’s strategy on Iran, which aims to increase the economic costs, and further isolate the Islamic Republic from the global financial system.

It authorizes sanctions on foreign financial institutions that knowingly conduct or facilitate significant transactions for the purchase or sale of the Iranian rial, or that maintain significant accounts outside Iran denominated in the Iranian rial.

Senior administration officials said no specific dollar amount is specified, although regulations contain some guidance on this.

The idea, said one official, is to make the Iranian currency „essentially unusable outside of Iran,“ as part of the overall effort to apply „significant financial pressure“ on the government of Iran.

The order also targets what is called a major revenue generator, Iran’s automotive sector, building on sanctions in legislation President Obama signed this past January. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

US Sanctions Iran Currency, Auto Industry

On June 3, the United States imposed sanctions for the first time on Iran’s currency, the rial. Foreign financial institutions may now face penalties if they “knowingly conduct or facilitate significant transactions” involving the rial― which has already lost half its value since January 2012. The executive order’s objective is to render the currency unusable outside of Iran, a senior administration official said during a conference call. Iran conducts very little trade in the rial. So the measure may also be aimed at further depreciating its value and making Iranians feel more uneasy about holding their own currency. The executive order also authorizes new penalties on Iran’s automotive industry. And it allows the sanctioning of any individuals who help Iranians and others previously blacklisted by the Treasury.

      The Obama administration has now implemented nine sets of sanctions on Iran. An official said that the timing of the latest measure was not tied to the June 14 presidential election. So the timing may have more to do with pressuring Iran ahead of nuclear negotiations expected to resume after the election hiatus. The following is the complete text of the White House press statement, including links to the executive order and the president’s message to Congress.
            Today the President approved a new Executive Order (E.O.) to further tighten U.S. sanctions on Iran and isolate the Iranian government for its continued failure to meet its international obligations.
            This new action targets Iran’s currency, the rial, by authorizing the imposition of sanctions on foreign financial institutions that knowingly conduct or facilitate significant transactions for the purchase or sale of the Iranian rial, or that maintain significant accounts outside Iran denominated in the Iranian rial.  While the rial has lost half of its value since the beginning of 2012 as a result of our comprehensive sanctions, this is the first time that trade in the rial has been targeted directly for sanctions. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

Executive Order Authorizing the Implementation of Certain Sanctions Set Forth in the Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act of 2012 (IFCA) and Additional Sanctions With Respect to Iran and Guidance Related to IFCA and the Executive Order

Today the President has signed an Executive Order entitled “Authorizing the Implementation of Certain Sanctions Set Forth in the Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act of 2012 and Additional Sanctions With Respect to Iran (IFCA)”.  Concurrently with the issuance of the Executive Order, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is posting these frequently asked questions relating to the implementation ofIFCA and the Executive Order.

 

JP: US senators urge Obama to up Iran sanctions

Members of Congress call to impose greater economic pressure to curtail Iran’s nuclear ambitions, punish human-rights violations.

US Capitol building in Washington D.C.

US Capitol building in Washington D.C. Photo: REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Members of US Congress from both parties on Wednesday urged Obama administration officials to impose greater economic pressure to curtail Iran’s nuclear ambitions and punish its human-rights violations.

Senator Bob Menendez, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and sponsor of several Iran sanctions laws, cited estimates that the global oil market has enough supply to let the US press Iran’s remaining oil buyers to radically curtail their purchases without causing a spike in gasoline prices.

“Oil markets are now and predicted to be loose for the coming year” and “it would seem that this is the time to press our allies to further reduce crude purchase from Iran,” Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, told a committee hearing on preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

The International Energy Agency said Tuesday that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ spare crude oil production capacity will surge 25 percent in the next two years as rising US shale output crimps demand for OPEC’s supplies. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

Iran’s Self-Inflicted Wounds

Iran is facing double-digit inflation, high consumer prices, rising unemployment, and anemic economic growth, according to a new report by Jahangir Amuzegar, a former executive board member of the International Monetary Fund. But not all of Iran’s economic problems are caused by sanctions. Many are self-induced and rooted in President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s attempts to curb inflation during his first term from 2005 to 2009. The government tried to control rising costs by holding the exchange rate, interest rates and basic energy prices in check. But that short-term fix led to long-term problems, such as worsening Iran’s dependence on oil, hampering companies’ ability compete internationally, and cutting industrial production capacity by up to 40 percent, concludes Amuzegar, who was finance minister in 1963. The following are excerpts from the report, with a link to the full text at the end.

Self-Inflicted Wounds
            Of the thorny economic problems which Iran is going to face in the coming year, independent of sanctions, almost all are self-induced. They are rooted in a wrong-headed populist strategy of combating endemic inflation by hoodoo remedies. Faced with protracted double-digit price rises caused by perennial budget deficits and excess spending, President Ahmadinejad decided early in his administration to combat this demand-caused economic disequilibrium by focusing on the supply side. Thus, instead of trying to raise revenues or reduce wasteful expenditures, he chose a crowd-pleasing, short-term economic policy of controlling costs – with scant regard for its harmful long-term implications. To keep household and business expenses in check, the government proceeded to hold three vital cost factors — the exchange rate, interest rates and the basic energy prices— in check through government diktats. The outcome has been a near disaster in all three areas. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags
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