Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Non-Military Option to Cripple Iran

Dick Morris and Eileen McGann discuss a potentially effective non-military move that could cripple Iran.
If you feel that stronger action may be required, you might want to consider the Sherman-Kirk Amendment, now passed by a House appropriations subcommittee with bipartisan support. The amendment, co-sponsored by Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman of California and Republican Rep. Mark Kirk of Illinois, would require a cutoff of export-import bank financing for any firm that exports gasoline to Iran or helps it to develop new refining capacity.

Iran, despite its vast oil supplies, has to import almost half of its gasoline. Its dependence on imported gasoline is its biggest vulnerability. Orde Kittre, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, calls it Iran's "Achilles' heel." The amendment is largely aimed at Reliance Industries Limited of India, which has gotten $900 million in loan guarantees from the Export-Import Bank – of which $500 million is to help expand Reliance's Jamnagar refinery, which refines almost a third of Iran's gasoline imports.

Apart from the obvious question of why the United States taxpayer is helping to finance the refinement of Iran's gasoline, the Sherman-Kirk Amendment offers the timid Obama administration the perfect way to show the anger and outrage it claims to feel at the suppression of democratic dissent in Iran. It might even be more effective than the denial of Fourth of July hot dogs.
Setting aside that, as a creation of Fascism, there should be no such thing as the Export-Import Bank, one might equally want to ask why Bush never did this.

[Note: "The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) is the official export credit agency of the United States. Ex-Im Bank's mission is to assist in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to international markets."]

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