US Congress initiates sanctions legislation ahead of Iran’s reply
By a voice vote, the House foreign affairs committee approved legislation Wednesday, Oct. 28 imposing sanctions on Iran’s main gasoline suppliers, including British, French, Swiss and Indian firms.
The measure would empower US president Barack Obama to effectively block firms that supply Iran with refined petroleum products or help the Islamic Republic import or produce them at home from doing business with the United States.
debkafile adds: Tehran was thereby put on notice of unilateral US sanctions hanging over its head should it reject, quibble ofr procrastinate over the IAEA compromise proposal to send three-quarters of its low-enriched uranium to Russia and France for further processing as fuel for its research reactor.
Iran promised a final reply to the proposal – albeit with changes – Thursday, Oct. 29.
In Moscow, the Kremlin’s top foreign policy aide, Sergei Prikhodko was quoted by Interfax as saying: “Sanctions in relation to Iran are hardly possible in the near future.” Asked if Russia would support further sanctions against Iran, Prikhodko quoted an answer given by Kremlin chief Dmitry Medvedev last month after talks with U.S. President Barack Obama.”Sanctions seldom lead to the required result but in some cases the use of sanctions is inevitable,” Prikhodko said. “This formulation remains in force.”
Moscow’s cageyness on international sanctions against Iran gave US lawmakers an extra incentive to create an option for going it alone.
In Washington, the US president’s national security adviser James Jones said early Wednesday, Oct. 28: The United States will be ready to respond if Iran fails to take tangible steps soon to meet its commitments over its nuclear program.
“Nothing is off the table,” he warned.”We will see in a short amount of time if engagement is able to produce the concrete results that we need and will be prepared if it does not,” Jones said.