Ron Paul: Sanctioning Iran a Dangerous, Illegal Move

Sanctioning Iran a Dangerous, Illegal Move

URL to article:

Posted By Rep. Ron Paul On December 15, 2009

Before the United States House of Representatives, statement opposing the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act

I rise in strongest opposition to this new round of sanctions on Iran, which is another significant step toward a U.S. war on that country. I find it shocking that legislation this serious and consequential is brought up in such a cavalier manner. Suspending the normal rules of the House to pass legislation is a process generally reserved for “non-controversial” business such as the naming of post offices. Are we to believe that this House takes matters of war and peace as lightly as naming post offices?

This legislation seeks to bar from doing business in the United States any foreign entity that sells refined petroleum to Iran or otherwise enhances Iran’s ability to import refined petroleum such as financing, brokering, underwriting, or providing ships for such. Such sanctions also apply to any entity that provides goods or services that enhance Iran’s ability to maintain or expand its domestic production of refined petroleum. This casts the sanctions net worldwide, with enormous international economic implications. Recently, the Financial Times reported that, “[i]n recent months, Chinese companies have greatly expanded their presence in Iran’s oil sector. In the coming months, Sinopec, the state-owned Chinese oil company, is scheduled to complete the expansion of the Tabriz and Shazand refineries – adding 3.3 million gallons of gasoline per day.”

Are we to conclude, with this in mind, that China or its major state-owned corporations will be forbidden by this legislation from doing business with the United States? What of our other trading partners who currently do business in Iran’s petroleum sector or insure those who do so? Has anyone seen an estimate of how this sanctions act will affect the U.S. economy if it is actually enforced?

As we have learned with U.S. sanctions on Iraq, and indeed with U.S. sanctions on Cuba and elsewhere, it is citizens rather than governments who suffer most. The purpose of these sanctions is to change the regime in Iran, but past practice has demonstrated time and again that sanctions only strengthen regimes they target and marginalize any opposition. As would be the case were we in the U.S. targeted for regime change by a foreign government, people in Iran will tend to put aside political and other differences to oppose that threatening external force. Thus this legislation will likely serve to strengthen the popularity of the current Iranian government. Any opposition continuing to function in Iran would be seen as operating in concert with the foreign entity seeking to overthrow the regime.

This legislation seeks to bring Iran in line with international demands regarding its nuclear materials enrichment programs, but what is ironic is that Section 2 of HR 2194 itself violates the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to which both the United States and Iran are signatories. This section states that “[i]t shall be the policy of the United States … to prevent Iran from achieving the capability to make nuclear weapons, including by supporting international diplomatic efforts to halt Iran’s uranium enrichment program.” Article V of the NPT states clearly that, “[n]othing in this treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the parties to the treaty to develop research, production, and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with articles I and II of this treaty.” As Iran has never been found in violation of the NPT – has never been found to have diverted nuclear materials for non-peaceful purposes – this legislation seeking to deny Iran the right to enrichment even for peaceful purposes itself violates the NPT.

Mr. Speaker, I am concerned that many of my colleagues opposing war on Iran will vote in favor of this legislation, seeing it as a step short of war to bring Iran into line with U.S. demands. I would remind them that sanctions and the blockades that are required to enforce them are themselves acts of war according to international law. I urge my colleagues to reject this saber-rattling but ultimately counterproductive legislation.

Read more by Rep. Ron Paul



House Overwhelmingly Approves More Sanctions Against Iran

Bill Aims to Bar Gasoline From Iran

Obama’s Foolish and Unjust Policy on Iran and Nuclear Weapons

4 Responses to “Ron Paul: Sanctioning Iran a Dangerous, Illegal Move”

  • Patriot says:

    From “‘Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich'”

    This is my response to HR 2194: The Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act of 2009

    It has been posted on Huffington Post. Pls. visit and if you feel up to it, comment.



  • Patriot says:

    Look at how the pro-Israel lobby (to include AIPAC as mentioned via the Huffington Post link above) pushed for the sanctions against Iran which Congressman Ron Paul so courageously opposed:

    From: The Israel Project []
    Sent: Monday, December 14, 2009 12:43 PM

    Subject: Act Now – Congress to Vote Tomorrow on Iran!!!!!!!!

    ACT NOW –


    1. E-Mail Your Leaders and Media today to help stop the threat of Iran.
    Go here to use our easy automated system to send a personalized email TODAY to the editor of your local papers and elected officials urging them act now!

    2. Call Congress at 202 225-3121 and the White House at 202 456-1414 and ask them to support H.R. 2194 – The Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act (IRPSA)
    Please ask them to support the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act (IRPSA) – HR 2194 – which calls for tougher economic sanctions on Iran in order to peacefully persuade the Iranian regime to abandon its dangerous nuclear ambitions.

    3. Sign TIP’s UN Petition on Iran
    Sign TIP’s Petition on Iran. At this critical moment, have your voice heard by signing TIP’s petition in Iran. Go here to help make the world a safer place.

    The Israel Project Backs New Iran Sanctions Act with Petition Signed by over 76,000

    4. Donate to The Israel Project (TIP)
    As Israel faces threats from Iran and its proxies Hezbollah and Hamas, TIP is working to protect Israel and our global Jewish family. Your tax-deductible support is urgently needed to help us carry out this work. Please click here to make your tax-deductible contribution.


    The Israel Project is an international non-profit organization devoted to educating the press and the public about Israel while promoting security, freedom and peace. The Israel Project provides journalists, leaders and opinion-makers accurate information about Israel. The Israel Project is not related to any government or government agency.

  • Patriot says:

    Look how the ‘The Israel Project’ is pushing war with Iran (which get even more American’s killed/maimed for Israel):

    Subject: Poll: Americans Would Support Israel Militarily in Conflict with Iran

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Dec. 18, 2009

    Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi: 202-857-6644 (office), 202-365-0787 (cell),
    Meagan Buren: 202-857-6671 (office),

    Subscribe to The Israel Project’s RSS Feed

    Key Findings from New Bi-Partisan U.S. Survey

    December National Survey (PDF)

    61 percent of Americans support coming to the military defense of Israel if it strikes Iranian nuclear facilities and Iran retaliates.
    While large majorities support diplomacy, increased sanctions and support for the regime’s internal opponents, most are skeptical they will deter Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
    51 percent favor military strikes by the U.S. and its allies If Iran does not stop its nuclear program.
    Washington, D.C. – A new bipartisan poll (PDF) commissioned by The Israel Project (TIP) shows that 61 percent of Americans support the United States coming to the military defense of Israel if it strikes Iranian nuclear facilities and Iran attacks the Jewish state in response.

    Two-thirds of Americans support the United States coming to Israel’s military defense if Iran uses Hamas and Hezbollah to strike Israel, and Israel attacks Iran in response.

    While Americans overwhelmingly continue to favor diplomacy and sanctions against Iran , most think there is little (27 percent) or hardly any chance (34 percent) that multinational negotiations and diplomacy will succeed.

    Neil Newhouse, the Republican partner of TIP’s bi-partisan polling team, commented, “While Americans’ first choice is diplomacy and sanctions, Americans take the Iranian threat seriously and are prepared to back that with difficult choices and real action if needed.”

    Just over half of U.S. voters polled say they support military action against Iranian nuclear facilities by the United States and its allies if Iran does not stop its nuclear program, while 44 percent oppose such action.

    And 78 percent of Americans agree that “even with all the problems America faces at home now, we must still work hard to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons.”

    Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg, Ph.D. of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research said, “Americans want intensified sanctions and support for Iran ’s domestic opponents, but Iran ’s response to the elections and the international community leave them very skeptical about the ability to deter Iran from pursuing nuclear weapons.”

    TIP Founder and President Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi noted that, “We were pleased to see the House pass legislation on sanctions against Iran with a vote of 412-12 and hope the Senate and President will move quickly to do the same. The time for strong action to prevent a nuclear Iran peacefully is now.”

    The surveys were conducted jointly by Public Opinion Strategies (POS) and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research Dec 14-16, 2009 with 800 registered voters (margin of error: +/- 3.5 percent).

    The Israel Project is an international non-profit organization devoted to educating the press and the public about Israel while promoting security, freedom and peace. The Israel Project provides journalists, leaders and opinion-makers accurate information about Israel. The Israel Project is not related to any government or government agency.

Leave a Reply