The sign reads: PLEASE RESTRAIN YOURSELF FROM KILLING US. THANK YOU. THE PEOPLE OF IRAN
Photo hat tip Banafsheh
Congressional Research Service report–May 19,
2009–Obama has hung the Iranian democracy protesters out to dry in the 2010
Page 44: As shown, $67 million has been appropriated for Iran
democracy promotion ($19.6 million through DRL and $48.6 million through the Bureau of Near Eastern
Of that, as of October 2008, $42.7 million has been obligated, and $20.8
million disbursed. Additional funds, discussed in the chart below, have been appropriated for cultural
exchanges, public diplomacy, and broadcasting to Iran.
However, the Obama
Administration did not request funding for democracy promotion in Iran in its FY2010
budget request, an indication that the new Administration views this effort as inconsistent with its belief in dialogue
Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses
(much thanks to Laura)
The Bush Administration characterized Iran as a “profound threat to U.S. national security
interests,” a perception generated primarily by Iran’s nuclear program and its military assistance
to armed groups in Iraq and Afghanistan, to the Palestinian group Hamas, and to Lebanese
Hezbollah. The U.S. approach was to try to prevent a nuclear breakout by Iran by applying
multilateral economic pressure on Iran while also offering it potential cooperation should it
comply with the international demands to suspend its enrichment of uranium. Multilateral efforts
to pressure Iran include three U.N. Security Council resolutions (1737, 1747, and 1803) that ban
weapons of mass destruction (WMD)-related trade with Iran; freeze the assets of Iran’s nuclear
and related entities and personalities; prevent Iran from transferring arms outside Iran; ban or
require reporting on international travel by named Iranians; call for inspections of some Iranian
sea and airborne cargo shipments; and call for restrictions on dealings with some Iranian banks.
Separate U.S. efforts to persuade European governments to curb trade, investment, and credits to
Iran; and to convince foreign banks not to do business with Iran, began to weaken Iran’s
economy, compounding the effect of a sharp drop in oil prices since mid-2008. To strengthen its
approach, the Bush Administration maintained a substantial naval presence in the Persian Gulf,
which U.S. commanders insist would prevent any Iranian attempts to close the crucial Strait of
Hormuz for any extended period.
The Obama Administration has not pushed assertively for new sanctions, pending the results of
its outreach to Iran. However, Administration officials says they might renew that focus if Iran
does not show signs of willingness to compromise, perhaps by the fall of 2009. Bills in the 111th
Congress, such as H.R. 2194 and S. 908, would tighten U.S. sanctions on Iran by amending the
Iran Sanctions Act. These bills contain provisions similar to those of several bills in the 110th
Congress, including H.R. 1400, S. 970, S. 3227, S. 3445, and H.R. 7112.
Uh, what happened to Obama's September deadline?
The latest State Department human rights report (released February 25, 2009), the 2008 State
Department “religious freedom” report (released September 19, 2008), and a report by the U.N.
Secretary General on October 1, 2008, cite Iran for widespread serious abuses, including unjust
executions, politically motivated abductions by security forces, torture, arbitrary arrest and
detention, and arrests of women’s rights activists.
The State Department human rights reports said
the government’s “poor human rights record worsened” during 2008. The Secretary General’s
report later became the basis of a U.N. General Assembly resolution, finalized on December 18,
2008 by a vote of 69-54, citing Iran for these abuses and calling on it to allow visits by U.N.
personnel investigating the status of human rights practices in Iran. Subsequent to the passage of
the resolution, Iranian authorities raided the Tehran office of the Center for Defenders of Human
Rights, headed by Nobel Peace Prize laureate (2003) and Iran human rights activist lawyer Shirin
Women Regime strictly enforcing requirement that women fully cover themselves in public,
generally with a garment called a chador, including through detentions. In March 2007,
the regime arrested 31 women activists who were protesting the arrest in 2006 of
several other women’s rights activists; all but 3 of the 31 were released by March 9. In
May 2006, the Majles passed a bill calling for increased public awareness of Islamic dress,
an apparent attempt to persuade women not to wear Western fashion.
Human Trafficking The June 4, 2008 (latest annual),
State Department “Trafficking in Persons” report
continues to place Iran in Tier 3 (worst level) for failing to take action to prevent
trafficking in persons. Girls purportedly are trafficked for sexual exploitation within Iran
and from Iran to Turkey, Pakistan, and the Gulf states.
Juvenile Executions Iran has executed six persons under the age of 18 in 2008.
No other country has
executed juvenile offenders in 2008. As a party to the International Covenant on Civil
and Political Reights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Iran is obligated to
abolish such executions.
interesting tidbit—-page 56
Among those that have pulled out of Iran are UBS and Credit Suisse
(Switzerland), HSBC (Britain), Germany’s Commerzbank A.G and Deutsche Bank.
The lawsuit filed in New York State Supreme Court in early
September accused private equity firm head Hassan Nemazee, 59,
of engaging in an elaborate scheme to make HSBC Bank USA
believe that its loan was secured by collateral in the form of
U.S. Treasury Notes when it was not.
Nemazee, who sits on the board of the Iranian American
Political Action Committee, typically donates more than
$100,000 annually to Democratic political candidates.
Photo protest 91/18
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