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Ear to the Ground

Swiss Cheese Sanctions

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Posted on Dec 24, 2010
AP / Vahid Salemi

A shoe repairman works in a street in Tehran, Iran. U.S. sanctions against the Islamic republic are aimed mostly at its budding nuclear program.

Like a piece of Swiss cheese, U.S. sanction policy is riddled with holes, according to reports. A former Treasury official claims licenses to trade with blacklisted countries such as Iran have been doled out to the tune of billions of dollars in profits, all at the behest of lobbying groups.

Stating the obvious, the former official said: “I don’t like the word ‘hypocrisy’ but I think it implicates the integrity of the sanctions.”  —JCL

The BBC:

US sanctions tend to be riddled with exceptions that are neither humanitarian nor democracy-related, a former US sanctions official has said.

Stuart Eizenstat, a deputy treasury secretary in the Clinton era, told the BBC World Service that such loopholes were created by lobbying groups.

A New York Times report found evidence of US firms trading legally with blacklisted countries such as Iran.

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David J. Cyr's avatar

By David J. Cyr, December 25, 2010 at 9:09 am Link to this comment

Mighty America maintains a now 50 year old sanction against pharmaceutical exports to the tiny island state of Cuba… because Cubans have humanitarian universal Single-Payer healthcare and Americans don’t.

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