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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 12/26/16

Is Team Trump instructing this New Year's Grinch OFAC to destroy JCPOA?

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Message Franklin P. Lamb
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Damascus

A friend who works in an office near AIPAC on Capitol Hill sent this adaptation of Nat King Coles, "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire." It was reportedly sung at some of this year's AIPAC and Zionist Lobby holiday receptions for Congressional staffers and lobbyists as well as at other seasonal events in Washington.

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It goes and rhymes like this:

"Chestnuts roasting on an open flame.

Jack Frost nipping at your shoes.

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Iran Sanctions coming back all the same.

As OFAC dresses up its FAQs"

He received it as part of a package of hoped for aggressive sanctions including cyber-attacks and enlarging OFAC's (Office of Foreign Assets Control) Special Designated Nationals (SDN) List as well as other previously undisclosed recommendations targeting Iran's leadership and vowing to collapse the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Known commonly as the Iran deal or Iran nuclear deal, preparations are intensifying to destroy the JCPOA and have been in the works since the November 8 US election results were known. Several recommendations were prepared by Israel's lobby to allies of the incoming Trump administration and delivered to Trumps transition team just days ago.


(Image by Wael al Hajj)   Details   DMCA

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OFAC is expected to do its part after 1/20/2017 and last July's removed Iran sanctions may be re-imposed in addition to other new Iran sanctions ideas coming out of some anti-Iran Congressional offices. Opponents of the Boeing deal at AIPAC and in Congress have recently revived some of the earlier arguments used before last Septembers OFAC approval of a license for Boeing to sell $16 billion worth of aircraft to Iran. Capitol Hill opponents of the Iran nuclear deal are once more pointing out that the Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Iran Air in 2011 for using passenger and cargo planes to transport rockets and missiles to places such as Syria, sometimes disguised as medicine or spare parts. At other times, AIPAC claims, members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards took control of flights carrying sensitive cargo. Those restrictions were lifted as part of the JCPOA deal. Congress is also considering legislation that could stop Boeing's sales to Iran by barring the Export-Import Bank from financing planes and preventing the Treasury from authorizing U.S. bank transactions for a sale. The bill was approved in the House last month and is awaiting Senate action. AIPAC claims to have the required number of Senate votes lined up.

Staunch AIPAC supporter, Rep. Brad Sherman, (D-Calif) explained a while back at a hearing of the Financial Services Committee's trade panel. "When Iran comes forward with a plan to guarantee that these planes are not being used for terrorism or to support Assad then Congress could consider allowing the Boeing sale to go through. We're being asked to transfer planes to a company, Iran Air that has served as an air force for terrorism. And we're being told, oh, but just trust them, or just trust that we'll be able to do something if they violate."

One veteran foreign policy insider who liaises with Congress on the issue told the Free Beacon that "Literally no one on the Hill takes the Obama administration seriously when they talk about the Iran ransom," the source said. "Everyone knows the intelligence is politicized to hide the damage done by the president's diplomacy. There's a reason every Democrat in Congress voted for locking in Iran sanctions in the Iran Sanctions Act a few weeks ago. American lawmakers have had enough."

And OFAC is not without friends.

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Since 2013, Professor Franklin P. Lamb has traveled extensively throughout Syria. His primary focus has been to document, photograph, research and hopefully help preserve the vast and irreplaceable archaeological sites and artifacts in (more...)
 

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