Nur al-Cubicle

A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press. Daily timeline of events in Iraq as collected from stories and dispatches in the French and Italian media: Le Monde (Paris), Il Corriere della Sera (Milan), La Repubblica (Rome), L'Orient-Le Jour (Beirut) and occasionally from El Mundo (Madrid).

Friday, August 03, 2007

Ready, aim, shoot foot

US Congress prepares draconian sanctions against Iran while Ambassador Crocker is conducting crucial negotiations with Tehran. Likud Democrat Tom Lantos is the author of the bill. I saw this in L'Orient-Le Jour:

"Europe has addressed a warning to US Congress concerning the hardening of US sanctions against European energy companies which invest in Iran, a measure that will affect several European groups, according to the Financial Times. The House and the Senate plan on systematic sanctions against those Europeans energy groups which have invested more than $20 million in Iran, removing the right to grant waivers to third parties from President Bush.

Several European countries including France, Germany and the UK have warned that the measures "could hit European energy groups, undermine transatlantic unity on Tehran's nuclear programme and provoke a dispute at the World Trade Organisation", according to a diplomat cited by the newspaper. The House is favorable to a second bill that would list US companies having invested more than $20 million in Iran and facilitate disinvestment by public pension funds from these companies."

(Royal Dutch Shell and Repsol are involved in a project worth up to $10bn to produce Iran's first liquefied natural gas.)

US Congress has got to be the dumbest legislature on the planet. With the declining dollar and the price of oil nearing $80 per barrel, why would it pass legislation that is guaranteed to render oil and natural gas prohibitively expensive, not to mention undercutting Ambassador Crocker?


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