Re: US Passes Strong Sanctions Against Iran
Here is a video of the White House signing ceremony:
Seven people accompanied Obama as he signed the bill: Tim Geithner (Treasury secty.); Susan Rice (UN amb.); Stuart Levey (Under Secretary, Treasury); Rep. Eric Cantor; Rep. Steny Hoyer; Sen Chris Dodd; House speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Of the seven, Stuart Levey, Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, is the most significant in implementation. A holdover from the Bush administration, Levey took a major role in coordinating the economic blockade of Gaza after Hamas took control in June 2007. So effective was Levey’s international blockade that even Arab banks were unable to send wire transfers into the embattled enclave. As a JTA article observed,
Despite his GOP and conservative credentials, Levey has emerged as nonpartisan to the extent that when Obama’s nomination of Geithner hit a glitch over back taxes, Levey was appointed acting secretary.
“We were absolutely delighted when the Obama administration chose to ask him to stay in office,” said David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee, which honored Levey with the organization’s 2009 Public Service Award. “That really spoke to the reputation Stuart established.”
The resemblance between the economic blockade of Gaza and the new blockade of Iran is not coincidental. But Iran is a major oil producer, with 72 million people as compared to Gaza’s 1.5 million. Can the US Treasury starve 72 million Iranians into submission? It don’t seem like a good idea to me.
“Iranians turned into Gazans at the stroke of a pen — COOL, HUH?!”