Last month, the Obama administration added seven new Iranian companies, because of proliferation concerns, to the ever-growing list of sanctioned Iranian entities. Yet, as important as this latest move is, one crucial category of Iranian entities is still missing from U.S. policy—companies owned or controlled by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
John Kerry, who will be nominated later today to be the next secretary of state, is the richest member of the U.S. Senate. His estimated net worth is, at minimum, $198.65 million, according to disclosure forms.
Kerry's disclosure forms also reveal that he has invested in companies accused of doing business with Iran.
Since suffering a near-fatal stroke last January, two tasks have obsessed Senator Mark Kirk from his encampment at a Chicago rehabilitation center: relearning how to walk, and expanding the economic war the Illinois Republican has been leading against the Islamic Republic of Iran for the past decade.
Germany appeared over the past several months to have finally fallen in line behind European Union efforts to stiffen economic sanctions against Iran. But in late October a group of German parliamentarians dealt a blow to the campaign to isolate Iran’s rulers. Bundestag Members Bijan Djir-Sarai of the Free Democratic Party, Thomas Feist of the Christian Democrats and Angelika Graf of the Social Democratic Party traveled to Tehran for a five-day visit.
Based on last week’s debate, both President Obama and Governor Romney believe that squeezing the Iranians economically is the best way—and perhaps the only way—to end their nuclear-weapons program without resorting to a military strike. Of course, nobody knows if sanctions will actually work. But if the United States is truly serious about crushing Iran’s economy, it must pursue a more aggressive strategy, and it must put more pressure on Iranian trading partners.
Despite all evidence that sanctions are hurting Iran's economy, four rounds of nuclear talks failed to prove that Iran's regime is now more malleable to a compromise. Diplomacy will continue, but with Iranian proposals falling short of Western minimum requirements, it is time to ask whether sanctions are working.
Berlin As the Obama administration and U.S. allies seek to punish Iran for making no concessions in the latest round of negotiations over its nuclear activities, Switzerland has snubbed them by refusing to take part in the European Union’s sanctions efforts.
On March 20, Armenian defense minister Seyran Ohanyan visited Washington, D.C. Talks focused on U.S. defense assistance to the small republic, and regional issues were also discussed, but there is no evidence that Ohanyan’s U.S. counterpart, Leon Panetta, raised the question of Armenia’s excessive coziness with Iran. But he should have.
The United Nations reports that over 9,000 have been killed in Syria during the anti-regime uprising that has been going on for the last year. So far, however, President Obama has taken a hands-off approach, relying exclusively on diplomacy and sanctions.