Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Ken Blackwell
Ken Blackwell

Just as President Obama is about to revoke the economic sanctions on Iran’s years-long illegal nuclear projects, the fundamentalist mullahs once again showed their true colors. Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) detained 10 of our sailors at gun point and Tehran’s state-television broadcast images of them with their hands above their heads being involuntarily taken to the Iranian island of Farsi.
While Iran’s aggressive posturing doesn’t surprise me in the least, I find it a national embarrassment that Obama’s policy of appeasing the murderous mullahs led Secretary of State John Kerry to even thank Iran’s regime for eventually releasing the sailors. This kind of response only encourages the mullahs to further act like an outlaw bully, without fear of repercussion.
This will also be the effect of releasing billions of dollars of Iran's frozen assets, which will surely go straight into the coffers of the IRGC, the very people whose images were broadcast on Iranian state TV parading our sailors as captives.
Critics of the deal rightly worry that sanctions relief will only reinvigorate Iran's war machine in Syria and elsewhere at a time when pressure could have limited Iran's regional influence.
Whatever benefits the West hopes to achieve from new investments in the Islamic Republic, they don't justify the blood that will stain our hands when we feed such a narrow and dangerous segment of the Iranian economy.
Some Western companies are eager to invest in Iran, as evidenced by President Hassan Rouhani's forthcoming, trade-oriented trip to Italy and France. But for Iranians, the prospects seem dim, since three years under Rouhani have led to no improvement in economic conditions.
According to the Paris-based Middle East Studies Foundation, more than 50% of Iran's gross domestic product is controlled by 14 entities, all of which are affiliated with the military and security apparatus and controlled by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
Virtually all Western businesses that invest in Iran will be dealing with these entities and contributing to the expenses of the Revolutionary Guards, including financial aid to the Assad regime in Syria.
In September, the French Accor hotel chain signed a contract with the Iranian company Aria Ziggurat on the management of two 4- and 5-star hotels, Ibis and Novotel. Aria Ziggurat is 100% owned by the Segma tourism investment group, the Persian abbreviation for Iran Cultural Heritage & Tourism Investment Group, a branch of the Revolutionary Guards' companies.

The most recent post

Iran’s people may revolt due to economic crisis, regime officials say

Youths protesting in Kashan, central Iran (File Photo) Recently, a large portion of the remarks heard from Iranian regime officials in...