“Attempts to impose new sanctions under the pretext of irrelevant excuses show the United States’ continued hostile policies and hatred towards the Iranian nation and its useless attempts to weaken Iran’s defense power, which are not helpful to regional security, stability and tranquility,” said Iran’s Defense Minister. And so Obama helpfully complied with their wishes and delayed the new sanctions, which were for Iran’s repeated violation of UN resolutions prohibiting the test-firing of ballistic missiles.
It’s always the same question: what could possibly go wrong?
“Obama Pardons 21 Iranians Convicted of Violating Sanctions,” by Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon, January 18, 2016:
The Obama administration confirmed late Sunday it had delayed the imposition of new ballistic missile sanctions on Iran to ensure the Islamic Republic released five imprisoned Americans under a secret agreement reached on the sidelines of the nuclear negotiations, according to senior administration officials.
The officials confirmed that “secret” talks between U.S. and Iranian officials had been taking place for the past 14 months.
In exchange for the release of the five Americans—including a Washington Postreporter and Christian pastor—the Obama administration pardoned or dropped charges on 21 Iranians convicted of violating U.S. sanctions, including seven who had been detained in the United States, according to a State Department official who spoke to theWashington Free Beacon on background….
The administration decided earlier this month to delay the implementation of new sanctions on Iran as a result of its repeated test-firing of ballistic missiles, which violated United Nations Security Council resolutions prohibiting such activity.
The delay, which came hours after the administration announced the new sanctions to Congress, sparked outrage on Capitol Hill and led to accusations that the White House was capitulating to Iranian demands.
A senior Obama administration official, speaking only on background, confirmed that the sanctions were delayed to preserve the sensitive negotiations over the U.S. prisoners.
“With respect to the [sanctions] designations, yes … but I think it’s obviously fair to say that the key issue for us was we had these three different tracks going on,” the official told reporters on Sunday. “The most sensitive one was the one that pertained to our Americans whose release we were seeking. And we did not want to complicate what was a very sensitive and delicate effort to bring Americans home with that action.”
The administration decided to delay the sanctions not because of Iranian complaints, but because of “this sensitivity around making sure we’re not compromising our efforts to get the Americans out,” the official said.
Iranian officials further confirmed that they had threatened to walk away from prisoner talks if new sanctions were implemented….
“Attempts to impose new sanctions under the pretext of irrelevant excuses show the United States’ continued hostile policies and hatred towards the Iranian nation and its useless attempts to weaken Iran’s defense power, which are not helpful to regional security, stability and tranquility,” Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan was quoted as saying.Additionally, Iran unveiled advanced nuclear centrifuges capable of enriching uranium, the key component in a nuclear weapon, faster than the country’s previous models.
Those Iranians pardoned in exchange for the release of the five U.S. prisoners include major sanctions offenders accused of providing Tehran with money and technology to illegally fuel its nuclear research.
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