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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Jacob Lew, "The High Price of Rejecting the Iran Deal": The American Impotence Argument

In a guest New York Times op-ed entitled "The High Price of Rejecting the Iran Deal," US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew makes the American impotence argument for accepting Obama's nuclear deal with Iran. Lew would have us believe that if the US were to impose secondary sanctions against foreign banks acting to support illicit trade with Iran, an economic crisis would ensue:

"Some critics nevertheless argue that we can force the hands of these countries by imposing powerful secondary sanctions against those that refuse to follow our lead.

But that would be a disaster. The countries whose cooperation we need — including those in the European Union, China, Japan, India and South Korea, as well as the companies and banks that handle their oil purchases and hold foreign reserves — are among the largest economies in the world. If we were to cut them off from the American dollar and our financial system, we would set off extensive financial hemorrhaging, not just in our partner countries but in the United States as well.

Our strong, open economic relations with these countries constitute a foundation of the global economy. Nearly 40 percent of American exports go to the European Union, China, Japan, India and Korea — trade that cannot continue without banking connections.

The major importers of Iranian oil — China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey — together account for nearly a fifth of our goods exports and own 47 percent of foreign-held American treasuries. They will not agree to indefinite economic sacrifices in the name of an illusory better deal. We should think very seriously before threatening to cripple the largest banks and companies in these countries."

China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey will not agree to "indefinite economic sacrifices"? Sorry, Jack, but this is pure poppycock. The world is now awash with cheap oil, and all of these countries have no problem making their energy purchases elsewhere. Would these countries' banks risk exclusion from the American financial system by facilitating illegal trade with Iran? Not a chance.

In fact, Lew is being just as dishonest as John Kerry, who recently made the risible argument that the US dollar would "cease to be the reserve currency of the world" if Congress disapproved the nuclear deal with Iran.

Also worth noting that Lew does not make even a single reference to the secret side agreements between the IAEA and Iran regarding inspection of suspect Iranian nuclear sites.

Shame on you, Jacob! You should know better!


  1. So easy to confuse the topic of "sanctions".
    No one should believe this ideological WH will do anything but throw out counter-arguments meant to shut down further debate on Iran.

    What is interesting is how climate change is straining diplomacy with so many of America's closest allies.

    Canada's election debate highlighted US intransigence on the Keystone XL. Germany is digging and burning brown coal as a 20-year bridge despite 40 years of subsidizing solar, wind, green..

    The USA thinks Ukraine should frack natural gas, but not upstate New York.

    and here is the latest, Japan and coal plant technology:

    "...Japan is now the planet’s top public financer of overseas coal plants, technology and mining
    the divergence in policy has become an open diplomatic wound between the two countries. ..."

    So, perhaps #44 really wants to forget about Iran and sanction Japan for pushing coal by providing financing?

    What did you expect after reading Lew's double-speak anxiety-mongering? :)

    Now that FX cable channel is going to debut film "White House Down" on Aug 15, expect this WH' Iran offense to get more hysterical.


  2. The NYT will not know how to cover this serious NO from Rep. Alcee Hastings, D, 20thFL:

    and, just wait for the next town hall in Brighton Beach (little Odessa) with Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D, 8NY, after this one:

    How will this WH attack two members of the House Black Caucus for their thoughtfulness? Blame Schumer?