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Sunday, January 31, 2010

What if the US really tried?

Ted Bromund notes that Siemens' self-declared embargo on Iran leaves the German telecommunications giant a lot of wiggle room.
That leaves a lot of wiggle room – Siemens is free to conclude new contracts with government entities in Iran, free to carry on with its existing contracts, and free to conclude new ones until its self-imposed deadline of mid-2010 rolls around. And it does nothing to meet criticism from German human-rights advocates that Siemens sells to states like China, knowing that China will then resell to Iran. But it is, at least, a tiny sign that Siemens is feeling the heat. About time too, given Europe’s commercial complicity with the Iranian regime.
As I have noted previously, the fact that Siemens made this announcement just two days before the US Senate passed its own version of the Iran sanctions bill could not have been a coincidence. Bromund comments:
Engagement has been a complete failure, as even Richard Haass now admits. It hasn’t stopped the Iranian nuclear program, reduced the brutality of the regime, or done anything to diminish Europe’s vast trade ties with Iran, which have shrunk in 2009 mostly because of the recession. And yet, as soon as the U.S. Senate looks like it might pass a bill – which still needs to be reconciled with the House version, and for which the President has shown no enthusiasm at all – a major German firm suddenly, mysteriously develops a case of the shakes about cozying up to Tehran. I wonder what they’d do if we really started trying.
Unfortunately, we're not going to find out until it's too late, if at all. The only hope for saving Obama from becoming a more ridiculed historical figure than Neville Chamberlain is an Israeli attack on Iran that puts the Iranian nuclear program out of business.

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