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October 17, 2023

What sanctions?  As the saying goes, Iran has more money now than it knows what to do with.  Sadly, the main thing Iran knows to do with money is fund terrorism.

New figures show the greatest flow of Iranian oil to China in at least a decade, and as the DAILY CALLER reports, “overall Iranian oil sales are rebounding as the Biden administration has adopted a more conciliatory approach to dealing with Iran than the Trump administration.”

Here it is in diplomat-speak, from ClearView Energy Partners:  “We have suggested that this recent surge in Iranian crude and condensate export volumes could be ascribed to rapprochement between Washington and Tehran via discretionary enforcement of U.S. sanctions.”

We’d boil all that fancy phrasing down to two words:  “Sanctions, schmanctions.”

Jason Brodsky of United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) put it almost as bluntly:  “Iran has generated about $80 billion in revenue from oil sales, defying U.S. sanctions under the Biden administration because of lax enforcement.  That is a policy chosen by the Biden administration.”  China helps fund terrorist aggression, he said, when this money goes to fund “Tehran’s proxies and partners.”  Like Hamas.  The intermediary for this is the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which, like Hamas, is a State Department-designated terrorist organization.

The Chinese are happy to buy sanctioned Iranian oil because they’re able to get it at a discount.  With the price of oil so high now, that makes the purportedly forbidden fruit very attractive.

BLOOMBERG reports that as of August, China was purchasing about 1.5 million barrels of sanctioned Iranian oil a day.

According to Robert Greenway, director of the Heritage Foundation’s Center for National Defense (who also helped design Trump’s Iran sanctions), “The facts are indisputable, China is the principal customer of Iranian oil.  It’s in contravention to sanctions we are enforcing.  {Editorial aside:  enforcing??]  I have studied the IRGC people for 35 years, I have fought them, I have seen every bit of U.S. intelligence produced over the last 35 years pertaining to them --- I can tell you that the IRGC benefits directly from oil sales in about 10 different ways.”

A spokesperson for the National Security Council insists that this is false, that the Biden policy on sanctions “to ensure that (Iran) is unable to sell oil to new purchasers is a complete success, and there are no plans to lift, waive or provide any new sanctions relief for Iran.”

Sounds like yet more gaslighting from the administration, as China is clearly buying the oil.  The White House also continues to deny any knowledge that Iran was involved in the Palestinian attack on Israel.  Anyone care to wager that the #1 state sponsor of terrorism didn’t have anything to do with THIS?

As for China, the Biden administration has also --- let’s see, how was that put? --- “adopted a more conciliatory approach” in dealing with the CCP.  And here’s something else to keep in mind about China.  (If you don’t have a subscription to THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, just read the headline.)

Both Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Biden’s Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby maintain that sanctions have not been weakened.  (Kirby has also said, ridiculously, that although Iran has “of course” been “broadly” aware of Hamas’ terrorist activities, there is “no evidence” that Iran was “directly” involved in this PARTICULAR attack or that they “specifically cut checks to support this.”  Good grief. It sounds like the same convoluted rationale they use to claim Joe wasn’t involved in Hunter’s business deals.)  But Richard Goldberg, senior adviser for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (also with the National Security Council during the Trump administration), said that there’s currently “no appetite to sanction China or to enforce sanctions on Iran.  The idea that Kirby can say with a straight face that we are enforcing our sanctions, it’s simply not true, not rational and not possible.”

Continuing: “We are not doing any sanctions enforcement right now, quite intentionally, because it is part of the give to Iran to entice them to stop short of developing a nuclear weapon.  The Iranians think they have the White House where they want them.”   

If Kirby is telling the truth (pause for helpless laughter) and has no evidence that Iran was involved, Iran sure was ready to jump in and start issuing threats.  On Sunday --- after meeting on Saturday with the leader of Hamas in Qatar --- the Iran foreign minister posted on social media: “If the Zionist aggressions do not stop, the hands of all parties in the region are on the trigger.  The responsibility for the possible opening of new fronts of resistance in the region and any escalation of today’s war directly falls on the United States and the Zionist regime.”  Ah, they attack, and it’s our fault when it escalates.

One of these “parties” is Lebanon, home to the Iran-backed Hezbollah group, which has already been clashing with Israelis at their border.  At the time of this writing late Monday, tensions were building there.  Hezbollah’s heavily armed presence is no doubt another example of Iranian oil money being distributed to terrorists.

Heritage Foundation Senior Fellow Stephen Moore sees Biden’s war on fossil fuels at home, which started on Day One of his presidency, as financing our enemies.  “This was so predictable and avoidable,” he says.  “The systematic reversal of former President Donald Trump’s pro-America energy policies has gotten worse month after month.”

He goes into detail about the specific policies and how they have led to $4-5 per gallon gas at the pump, going on to say the consequences are much more serious than that.  “This isn’t just an economic self-inflicted wound but a deepening national security threat as well.”

For the past 50 years, terrorist organizations such as Hamas have been financed with petrodollars.  “The nation that has control of oil markets has a commanding height of geopolitical influence around the world.”  Moore cites a number of policy examples and notes that the depletion of our strategic petroleum reserve under Biden puts us “behind the 8 ball” in responding to terrorist attacks in Israel.

So we must regain the energy dominance we had under Trump.  (Chalk this up as one more thing Trump had right.)  “That means producing ALL our energy,” Moore says.  Until then, we’ll keep making “America weaker and our enemies stronger, and the world will be a much more dangerous place in the years to come.”

Finally, financial analyst Larry Kudlow at FOX BUSINESS NEWS explains very clearly how we know the White House is gaslighting us about sanctions being in place on Iran.  In just a few years, Iran has gone from producing about 400,000 barrels of oil per day to about 3.5 million and are on their way to 4 million.  Where’s all that oil going?  Kudlow points out the obvious: “Iran has a favorite customer.  China.”

The numbers are staggering.  In 2020, Iran sold China about $6.5 billion in oil.  In 2021, Biden’s first year in office, that number skyrocketed to $23 billion.  In 2022, it leaped again, to $30 billion.  So, we’re talking about $60 billion flowing to the world’s #1 sponsor of terrorism in just a few years.  (Compared to this, Kudlow calls the $6 billion we paid for those five hostages “small beer.”)

“If we didn’t lift the sanctions, how come they’re producing and selling all that oil?” he asks.

Not surprisingly, Kudlow doesn’t buy the administration’s claim that Iran didn’t know and even help plan the massacre in Israel.  He quotes Elliott Abrams at NATIONAL REVIEW from the day of the attack: “Hamas depends heavily on Iranian funding.  Iran was broke when Donald Trump left office, but is now pretty flush in cash.  That’s not just because of the recent deal for U.S. hostages...but because the Biden administration has not been enforcing oil sanctions…”

The full Abrams piece is at the link.  (NATIONAL REVIEW does offer a limited number of articles for free.)

Kudlow also brings up Iranian Foreign Exchange Reserves, which were about $4 billion three years ago.  They are now at $70 billion.  How did a sanctioned nation rack up that much foreign currency?

In case you’d like to know more about how these reserves work…

Kudlow explains that sanctions against other countries are passed by Congress and are THE LAW.  There are primary sanctions, “which prohibit citizens and companies of the sanctioning country from engaging with any sanctioned country.”  (Example:  U.S. and Russia.)  Then there are secondary sanctions, which “stop third parties from banking or engaging in commerce with the sanctioned country.”  (Example:  say, France and Iran.)  In the case of Iran, these gave banks around the world a choice: “Either stop dealing with Iranian banks or you’ll lose access to the entire U.S. dollar financial system [which includes over 90 percent of the world’s transactions].”

The execution of these sanctions, he explains, is monitored by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC).  If Biden were enforcing both primary and secondary sanctions on Iran, then the Iranians would not be producing and selling all that oil to China.  In other words, Janet Yellen is lying.  And terrorists are using Chinese money to kill Jews.

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  • James J Ferrari

    10/17/2023 01:43 PM

    And who funds China? Go buy 10 items in United States, don't be surprised if they're all made in China.