US Steps Up Sanctions, Says Iran Violates "International Obligations."
What Are International
By Danny Schechter
What are "international obligations? Does the United States have to uphold them along with other counties? Does Washington even know they are defined as " obligations owed by states to the international community as a whole, intended to protect and promote the basic values and common interests of all." By this very definition, no one state can decide what's best for all.
When the United States stepped up its sanctions on Iran last past week, it cited Iran's failure to adhere to its "international obligations." There was, of course, no reference to domestic politics where President Obama, under attack from adversary Mitt Romney, criticized his failure to stop Iran's nuclear program.
Romney did so in Israel hoping to curry favor and donations from Jewish voters. Scholars like Juan Cole found the exercise distasteful for many reasons:
"There is a convention in US politics that you don't criticize the sitting president, even if you are an opposition politician, while on foreign soil. Romney clearly intends to slam President Obama while in Israel.
It is distasteful that Romney is clearly holding the event in some large part to please casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who first bankrolled Newt Gingrich and now is talking about giving $100 million to elect Romney. Adelson is a huge supporter of far rightwing Likud Party Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and published a free newspaper in Israel to support all things Bibi all the time. Adelson is under investigation for allegedly bribing Chinese officials in Macau in reference to his casino empire there. Since Adelson is potentially an agent of Chinese influence and is a partisan of one of Israel's most rightwing parties, Romney's indebtedness to him is disturbing.
It is distasteful to have Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu interfering in an American domestic election by openly favoring Romney over Obama."
Distasteful or not, Obama's response was to show he can be unilaterally tougher on Iran by strengthening sanctions by executive order, based on Iran's alleged failure to uphold its international obligations."
Ben Rhodes, a top US official said: Where we certainly agree with Prime Minister Netanyahu is on the fundamental question that we have not yet seen the Iranian government make a decision to come in line with their international obligations.
So we share very much the assessment of the Israeli government and Prime Minister Netanyahu that the purpose of the sanctions is to change the calculus of the Iranian government with respect to their nuclear program."
"And until they make that decision, we need to continue to increase the pressure," Rhodes said.
Ok, how do you decode this not so diplomatic language? What is Washington really saying. and on what basis?
It is saying, or claiming, or suggesting while not categorically proving that Iran is in violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, a treaty that, unmentioned, Israel refuses to sign and has not adhered to.
With The White House, in full campaign mode, and attacking Iran (to deter more attacks by Romney, and further placate Israel) the authoritative Congressional Research Service is on record as recently as June 26 in a report on this very issue titled, "Iran's Nuclear Program: Tehran's Compliance with International Obligations," that Iran may not be in violation at all.