Hillary Opposed Iran Sanctions; Can She Be Trusted to Snap Them Back On?

If Hillary is elected, hers’ will be the key voice in determining if Iran is obeying its commitments on nuclear weapons and how to respond if it isn’t. Under Hillary, would sanctions “snap back” almost automatically into place should Iran not keep its word? It will be up to Hillary to decide.

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But the fact is that Hillary’s State Department opposed almost all of the sanctions that have been voted by Congress. These tough measures were imposed only over her objections.

While Hillary, by all accounts, has been effective in enforcing the sanctions and encouraging European and Asian observance of its provisions, she fought tooth and nail against imposing them in the first place. This makes her an unreliable enforcer of the Iran deal should she be elected.

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Last year, The Daily Beast’s Josh Rogin enumerated Hillary’s long opposition to effective sanctions against Iran. His information deserves to be revisited.

Rogin notes that Hillary, “in conjunction with the rest of the Obama administration, often worked hard against many of the [sanctions]. Some bills Foggy Bottom slowed down; others, the State Department lobbied to be made less strict; still others were opposed outright by Clinton’s deputies, only to be overruled by large majorities in the House and the Senate.”

Illinois Republican Senator Mark Kirk noted that “the Obama administration has opposed sanctions against Iran led by Senator Menendez and me every step of the way, as was thoroughly documented at the time.”

Here’s the real story:

–In late 2011, Hillary and the administration opposed an amendment to sanction the Central Bank of Iran. Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman expressed “strong opposition” because it might anger our allies. Clinton’s number two at State met with key Senators on an “emergency” basis to urge them to oppose the amendment, which eventually passed unanimously.

–In 2009, the administration opposed passage of gasoline sanctions on Iran. And when the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 incorporated that provision, Rogin reports, “The administration worked behind the scenes to oppose that legislation.” Despite Hillary’s efforts, the bill passed the Senate unanimously and the House with only eight dissenting votes.

–In 2012, Hillary and the administration opposed barring Iranian financial institutions from doing business with the SWIFT, the global financial clearinghouse. The Wall Street Journal reported that “the administration was afraid that the SWIFT-related sanctions would cause too much disruption to the system and unnerve [our] allies.”

–Finally, Obama administration officials negotiated a provision in the Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act of 2012 that delayed the implementation of new sanctions and updates to existing sanctions for six months.

Rogin notes, “In those six months, Iran and Turkey schemed to subvert the sanctions through what is now known as the “gold for oil” scandal, whereby Iran exploited loopholes in the sanctions regime to earn over billions in hard currency. ”

Now Hillary lauds the sanctions and claims credit for their success. But Mark Dubowitz, an Iran sanctions expert and executive director of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies noted, “There is no doubt that the toughest sanctions were imposed by Congress over the objections of the administration.”

Can the secretary of state who worked to kill the sanctions in Congress be trusted to enforce them as president?

Also see,

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