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Sanctions: Harsh but fake

During his visit to Israel Gates promoted a new round of sanctions against Iran.

The sanctions might include a ban on petroleum exports to Iran—which is nonsense. For a couple of years, Iran will manage to import petroleum from the Far East, and during that time Russia will build new refineries according to the already-placed tenders.

Most worryingly, Gates envisages a second round of sanctions, including a ban on Iranian ships and aircraft landing in Western countries. Iranians would easily bypass the restriction by re-chartering their vessels under foreign flags. The second round contradicts Obama’s promise to act against Iran if no agreement with the mullahs is reached by the year’s end.

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