A Progressive Victory on Israel, as Hardliners Fail to Mount Campaign Against Donna Edwards
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The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) conducts the bulk of Iran’s international transactions and is the key financial facilitator for Iran’s proliferation and terrorist activities. UNSCR 1929 notes the potential connection between Iran’s revenues derived from its energy sector and the funding of Iran’s proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities. To stop the flow of the petroleum commerce, the international community should pursue sanctions on the CBI as well as on oil companies, shipping firms, insurance providers and banks that are involved in such activity.
These sanctions will dramatically increase pressure on Iran’s leaders to change their course and end their illicit activities. Could such steps tighten the world’s supply of oil, putting pressure on the world economy? This is possible, although other suppliers could increase production to fill at least part of the shortfall. But the impact would certainly be tiny compared to the price we would all pay if Iran got nuclear weapons or if military action was ultimately used to stop them.
2. Adopt more aggressive approach towards the Iran Revolutionary Guards Corps
The Iran Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) are in charge of Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs, and have been involved in serious human rights abuses. In recent years the IRGC has been playing an increasingly crucial role in Iran’s economy. Washington has already listed the IRGC as a “specially designated global terrorist” and Europe has taken some important measures too, but that is not nearly enough.
What is required now is a comprehensive campaign to map and sanction the hundreds of front companies and agents that operate on behalf of the IRGC. Multinationals who engage in commerce with the IRGC should be penalized, and travel bans and asset freezes should be applied to IRGC officials and members by all responsible members of the international community.
3. Enact new sanctions legislation and eliminate loopholes
Nations around the world should take the lead from the U.S. Congress and increase pressure on Tehran by taking steps similar to those that recently were adopted unanimously by the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The Iran Threat Reduction Act closes loopholes in energy and financial sanctions, including sanctioning parent companies for the activities of a foreign subsidiary that violates current US sanctions. The bill also targets the Iran Revolutionary Guards Corps and senior Iranian regime officials.
Demonstrate commitment for human rights
Last month, the U.N. Special Rapporteur for human rights in Iran filed his first report, revealing a pattern of systemic violations of fundamental human rights.
All responsible members of the international community have a duty to show their support for universal human rights by imposing financial and travel sanctions on human rights abusers. Europe, while waving the banner of human rights, should not have anything to do with the Iranian regime, and governments must punish companies that provide goods, services, and technologies that enable the regime to oppress its people.
4. Isolate Iran diplomatically