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Mr. KUCINICH. I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. PAUL).
2009 Ron Paul 106:1
Mr. PAUL. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
2009 Ron Paul 106:2
I talked to somebody today that will be voting for these, but admitted that they wont work and it is mere symbolism. So already they dont think these will do much good, even those who will vote for it. Theyre impossible to enforce, is one reason, and it will create a black market. And these particular sanctions are most difficult to enforce just because of the nature of the way its written.
2009 Ron Paul 106:3
One must understand a little bit about the pressures put on this country to act in a defensive way. They happen to be surrounded by a lot of nuclear bombs. And they dont have a history, the Iranians. As bad as they are for their leadership and how bad their regime is, theyre not expansionists territorially. I mean, how many years has it been since they invaded another country for the purpose of taking over another country? It is just not in recent history at all. But the countries around them, India – India has nuclear weapons, China has nuclear weapons, Pakistan, Israel, the United States. I mean, theyre all around them, so Im sure they feel like a cornered rat.
2009 Ron Paul 106:4
What I see here is propaganda, propaganda to build fear into people, to prepare the people for what is likely to come, just as we did in the 1990s, fear that there were weapons of mass destruction, but this one is, well, someday they might get a weapon of mass destruction. Unfortunately, I am just really concerned that this is going to lead to hostilities because this is the initiation. The fear is building up. Too often in this country we talk of peace at the same time that we pursue war. We pursue war, and we use these efforts to push our policies on others.
2009 Ron Paul 106:5
And quite frankly, we dont have any more money to pursue this policy, whether its used by the militarism or even to try to buy friends by giving them a lot of money. It just doesnt work.
2009 Ron Paul 106:6
I urge a no vote on this resolution in the interest of United States security.
2009 Ron Paul 106:7
Mr. Speaker, I would like to make a few more points as to why I oppose 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?
2009 Ron Paul 106:8
This legislation seeks to bar from doing business in the United States any foreign entity that sells refined petroleum to Iran or otherwise enhances Irans 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 Irans ability to maintain or expand its domestic production of refined petroleum. This casts the sanctions net worldwide, with enormous international economic implications.
2009 Ron Paul 106:9
Recently, the Financial Times reported that, [i]n recent months, Chinese companies have greatly expanded their presence in Irans 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.
2009 Ron Paul 106:10
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 Irans petroleum sector or insure those who do so? Has anyone seen an estimate of how this sanctions act will affect the US economy if it is actually enforced?
2009 Ron Paul 106:11
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.
2009 Ron Paul 106:12
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 H.R. 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 Irans 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.
2009 Ron Paul 106:13
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.