humanitarian crisis

Warrick Promotes Neocon Framing of Newest Iran Sanctions

Despite crippling smog in Tehran that may well derive from sanctions aimed at refined gasoline and the UN noting several months ago that US sanctions against Iran “appear to be affecting humanitarian operations in the country”, Joby Warrick chose to frame the newest round of US sanctions against Iran in language provided directly by the neocon “think tank” Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

Warrick does briefly note in his opening paragraphs that the sanctions against Iran have its “economy already reeling”,  but he doesn’t dwell on the impact to Iranian citizens of that reeling economy. Instead, he moves directly into neocon “think” with this passage (and Warrick doesn’t even get the group’s name correct):

While some previous U.S. sanctions targeted individuals and firms linked to Iran’s nuclear industry, the new policies are closer to a true trade embargo, designed to systematically attack and undercut Iran’s major financial pillars and threaten the country with economic collapse, the officials say.

“This is effectively blacklisting whole sectors of the Iranian economy,” said Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracy[sic], a think tank. “The goal is to create a chilling effect on all nonhumanitarian commercial trade with Iran.”

By broadening the focus to entire industries, the new effort is intended to make it harder for Iran to evade sanctions through front operations, a time-honored practice in the Islamic republic, said Dubowitz, author of several studies on sanctions policy. “It was a game of whack-a-mole that the United States could never win,” he said.

Dubowitz’s framing casts those crafty Iranians as creating a game of “whack-a-mole” as they try to evade the sanctions, which he whitewashes as being aimed at “chilling all nonhumanitarian aid”. No less an authority than the UN, in a report titled “Situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran” and dated August 22, 2012, demonstrates that Dubowitz’s characterization of the sanctions is a lie, since even before this newest round, there are humanitarian effects from the sanctions:

The sanctions also appear to be affecting humanitarian operations in the country. Even companies that have obtained the requisite licence to import food and medicine are facing difficulties in finding third-country banks to process the transactions. Owing to payment problems, several medical companies have stopped exporting medicines to the Islamic Republic of Iran, leading to a reported shortage of drugs used in the treatment of various illnesses, including cancer, heart and respiratory conditions, thalassemia and multiple sclerosis.

Despite Dubowitz’s attempt to paint the sanctions as merely economic, we learned last fall that the severe impact on Iran’s economy has been devastating to its citizens.  More from the UN report: Continue reading

Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz Somewhere in bowels of DOJ Main, David Margolis+OPR are laughing wildly at suggestion @ColMorrisDavis @MikeScarcella https://t.co/TwXfbitjzP
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bmaz RT @MikeScarcella: Federal prosecutors faulted in reversal of Vegas mortgage fraud conviction http://t.co/JhPfPXY9bV 9th Circuit: http://t.…
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bmaz @benjaminwittes @jackshafer @ErikWemple Methinks you doth protest too much. Pretty standard journalistic difference not worth the jihad.
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bmaz @nickmartin Me either, but it was only thing I could think of. Oh well, just wondering.
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emptywheel @bmaz Suspect @sbagen is w/in a mile or so from THAT too. Lots of beer drinking packed into AA @johnson_carrie
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bmaz @sbagen @johnson_carrie You guys need to move on up to an IPA litter hood!
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emptywheel @shrillroy With musical accompaniment @LOLGOP
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bmaz @nickmartin @buffmonster @buffmonster What are those boxes on top of the second story AC units? They almost look like traffic cams.
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emptywheel @KevinBankston But if you're not weighing benes of encryption against costs, exercise is counterproductive @benjaminwittes @PatrickCToomey
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bmaz @Popehat Mad cow still a thing....
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emptywheel @KevinBankston Whitehouse's entire premise was to use threat of liability to force good choices. @benjaminwittes @PatrickCToomey
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emptywheel @KevinBankston That's point I made fr start. Whitehouse is nuts to raise this Q w/o considering liability for not doing so @benjaminwittes
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August 2015
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