Thursday, January 17, 2008

GAO Report Challenges Effect of Longtime U.S. Sanctions on Iran

Robin Wright in the WaPo, here
"In a report released yesterday, the investigative arm of Congress challenged the impact of U.S. sanctions against Iran dating to 1987. Tehran has circumvented many economic sanctions, it concluded, noting Iran's ability to negotiate $20 billion in contracts with foreign firms since 2003 to develop its energy resources. With the country's oil wealth, Iranian banks also have funded their activities in currencies other than the dollar... "The substance is getting smaller and smaller," said a senior European official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive diplomacy still underway. Some of the provisions in the latest draft call for "monitoring" financial transactions with Iran rather than freezing assets of institutions, banks and businesses suspected of ties to nuclear proliferation..."

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