The Real News Network: Resolution Calls for Embargo Against Iran

July 2, 2008
3:30 PM

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Resolution Calls for Embargo Against Iran
Gareth Porter says that US House Res. 362 suggests the use of force with new bill
July 2 - Congress is calling for President Bush to ban all exports of refined petroleum going into Iran to help stop its nuclear program. US House Res.362 demands "stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran." Although Iran has one of the largest oil reserves in the world, it relies on imports for over 40% of its refined petroleum.

Gareth Porter, a historian and investigative journalist on US foreign and military policy analysis, says this resolution involves a series of charges about Iran's nuclear programs that are inaccurate. "They talked about 'covert, illicit' Iranian nuclear measures, such as importing centrifuges, manufacturing centrifuges. And things that are clearly not illegal under the non-proliferation treaty or under Iran's agreements with the IAEA," Porter says. Porter recalls that in 1982 and 1992, the Iranians declared their intention to master the nuclear fuel cycle and to have nuclear and uranium enrichment, and the IAEA publicly supported that.

Anti-war activists have labeled it the "Iran war resolution," even though it states, "Nothing in this resolution shall be construed as an authorization of the use of force against Iran." Porter affirms that while the language of the resolution tries to suggest that it doesn't involve the use of force, "It does involve the use of force," and "It is in effect a declaration of war against any country that tries to export goods to Iran and particularly, of course, petroleum goods to Iran."

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which is said to have helped author the resolution, sent thousands of members to lobby for the resolution in early June. Porter believes that Congress is responding more to the Israel lobby than to any new intelligence on Iran. "This is clearly an Israeli initiative," Porter says. He also posits that aggressive policy towards Iran from both the US and Israel is partially responsible for the rising price of oil. "We know that there is a huge influence on the part of US policy toward Iran and Israeli policy toward Iran on the world price of oil, and that very well could be a factor that could hold back the administration in the final analysis."

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