Sep 06

Obama Orders Sweeping Sanctions and Regime Change in Syria Without Congress (Activist Post, Sep 5, 2011):

Once again President Obama has used the authority vested in him in the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the National Emergencies Act to impose sweeping sanctions against a sovereign nation without Congressional approval.

On August 18th, 2011, Obama signed Executive Order 13582: Blocking Property of the Government of Syria and Prohibiting Certain Transactions With Respect to Syria, which authorizes the seizure of all Syrian-owned property and interests in property in the United States.  It also bans exports of U.S. services to Syria, the import of petroleum from Syria, and any new investment in Syria or those who support them.

The following actions are now prohibited:

(a) new investment in Syria by a United States person, wherever located;

(b) the exportation, reexportation, sale, or supply, directly or indirectly, from the United States, or by a United States person, wherever located, of any services to Syria;

(c) the importation into the United States of petroleum or petroleum products of Syrian origin;

(d) any transaction or dealing by a United States person, wherever located, including purchasing, selling, transporting, swapping, brokering, approving, financing, facilitating, or guaranteeing, in or related to petroleum or petroleum products of Syrian origin; and

(e) any approval, financing, facilitation, or guarantee by a United States person, wherever located, of a transaction by a foreign person where the transaction by that foreign person would be prohibited by this section if performed by a United States person or within the United States.

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Oct 05

TEHRAN, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) — Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Sunday that Iran will never halt uranium enrichment even if the West guarantees its need for nuclear fuel, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Mottaki made the remarks at a joint press conference with his visiting Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro.

“They (the western countries) are not trustworthy and we have experienced this,” Mottaki said.

“The peaceful nuclear activities of Iran, especially the enrichment and generating of fuel for the nuclear power stations, will never be stopped until we gain independence,” he added.

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Sep 02

Sept. 2 (Bloomberg) — European Union leaders refused to impose sanctions on Russia over the invasion of Georgia, acknowledging their reliance on Russian oil and gas at a time of faltering economic growth.

EU leaders took the symbolic step yesterday of suspending talks over expanded trade ties with Russia, fearing that tougher measures would expose the energy-dependent bloc to Russian retaliation.

Russia is the 27-nation bloc’s main supplier of oil and gas and third-biggest trading partner, giving it leverage at a time when the European economy threatens to tip into recession. Europe’s determination to maintain business links also undercuts U.S. efforts to line up allies against the reassertive Russia.

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Jul 31

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – More than 100 nonaligned nations backed Iran’s right to peaceful uses of nuclear power on Wednesday, an endorsement sought by Tehran in its standoff with the U.N. Security Council over its refusal to freeze uranium enrichment.

The decision came as supreme Iranian leader Ayatolla Ali Khamenei pledged to continue the country’s nuclear program.

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