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Saturday, February 14, 2015

Jonathan Tobin, "Iran Sanctions Can Change History, Not a Netanyahu Speech": Wrong Again

As previously stated, it is rare that I disagree with Jonathan Tobin. However, I was not in accord with Jonathan's Commentary opinion piece entitled "Must Netanyahu Give That Speech?," in which he took the position that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu should not address Congress at the invitation of House Speaker John Boehner. And I also do not agree with Jonathan's follow-up opinion piece, "Iran Sanctions Can Change History, Not a Netanyahu Speech," in which he doubles down on his opposition to Netanyahu's speech. Jonathan now writes:

"I have argued that in accepting House Speaker Boehner’s invitation, Netanyahu has walked into a trap and that the net effect of that decision is to lessen the chances that Congress will pass more sanctions. But his supporters and other opponents of Obama’s policies argue that the extreme nature of the danger presented by Iran and a U.S. policy of appeasement require that Netanyahu speak in spite of the controversy over his appearance. These points, made both by Rick Richman and in numerous comments from readers, deserve an answer.

. . . .

When faced with the horrible prospect of an Iranian bomb, some pro-Israel activists seem to embrace the emotional satisfaction of a direct rhetorical challenge to Obama rather than the hard practical political work of passing a bill that might do more to change history for the better than a speech. The prime minister should be smart enough to pass on this sort of immature and magical thinking. So should his American friends."

Well in this instance, the answer to Jonathan is to be found in a Fars News article of today's date entitled "Iran's Oil Revenues Soaring," which informs us:

"TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran's oil revenues considerably increased in the first ten months of the current Iranian year (March 21-January 22) as compared with last year's corresponding period, a senior energy official announced.

'Iran earned over $2.3 billion from sales of oil products in the first ten months as the country is applying innovative methods to sidestep US-led sanctions,' Head of Commercial Department of National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company (NIOPDC) Mohammad Reza Mazloumi said on Friday.

In July, Iran's Economy Ministry announced that the country’s oil revenues rose by 43 percent during last Iranian calendar year (ended March 20, 2014) in comparison with the previous year.

In December, Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said exports of crude is just one of Iran's sources of revenue and the country can live up without oil sales and through exports of its rich mineral resources, modern industries, and talented people.

'We have different methods and scenarios to run the country under different circumstances.'"

Overriding an Obama veto of the Kirk-Menendez Bill, intended to impose additional sanctions on Iran, will prevent Khamenei from obtaining atomic weapons? Not a chance. Khamenei is hell-bent upon obtaining such weapons, and to ignore his intention threatens Israel and the rest of the world. Sorry, Jonathan, this is neither "immature" nor "magical" thinking. The threat is real and imminent.

Netanyahu needs to provide Congress with details of the threat now, before Obama agrees to a disastrous conciliatory deal!

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