If Hillary is elected, she will be the key voice in determining whether Iran is obeying its commitments on nuclear weapons and how to respond if it isn’t. Under a Hillary Administration would sanctions “snap back” almost automatically into place should Iran violate the agreement? It will be up to Hillary to decide.
But the fact is that Hillary’s State Department opposed almost all of the sanctions passed by Congress. Although Hillary now claims full credit for the sanctions, the tough measures were imposed only over her serious and constant objections.
It’s one more example of Hillary re-writing history. (We wrote a book about Hillary in 2004, entitled Rewriting History . Some things never change!)
While Hillary, by all accounts, was effective in enforcing the sanctions and encouraging European and Asian compliance, she fought tooth and nail against imposing them in the first place. This makes her an unreliable enforcer of the Iran deal should she be elected.
Her opposition to Iran sanctions has been well documented in an article by Josh Rogin in The Daily Beast (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/05/15/hillary-clinton-celebrates-the-iran-sanctions-that-her-state-department-tried-to-stop.html).
Here’s the record:
Hillary’s State Department opposed three key sanctions measures, all of which passed almost unanimously.
The most crucial of the sanctions Hillary opposed was the one that punished foreign companies that purchase Iran’s oil through its Central Bank. She sent her top deputy Bill Burns to lobby against the sanctions. And Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman (the same person now negotiating the Iran nuclear deal) warned that the sanction could force up the price of oil by restricting global supplies, thereby increasing Iranian government revenues. She testified before Congress that she was “strongly opposed” to the measure and said “there is absolutely a risk that in fact the price of oil would go up, which would mean that Iran would in fact have more money to fuel its nuclear ambitions, not less.” The measure was eventually passed unanimously and the record shows how flawed Sherman’s prediction was.
The State Department, under Hillary, also opposed sanctions against the SWIFT global financial network for its dealings with Iran.
According to the Wall Street Journal, SWIFT (the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications) “provides a secure network to exchange financial messages and transactional data to and from the world’s banks.” Before the sanction took effect, the Journal reported that “19 Iranian banks and 25 Iranian institutions use SWIFT, and that in 2010 they sent 1,160,000 messages and received 1,105,000.” In 2012, the EU forced SWIFT to block Iranian banks from using the Belgian-based system. This not only blocked large sales of oil, it also prevented Iranian citizens from receiving small amounts of money from families abroad.
Without SWIFT, Iran has had to send its financial transactions through email and other nonsecure means. But Hillary’s State Department opposed kicking Iran out of SWIFT., claiming it might “disrupt the system” and upset our allies.
In 2009 and 2010, Rogin, writing in the Daily Beast, documented the Obama Administration’s determined but unsuccessful lobbying “behind the scenes” to oppose legislation to stop gasoline imports into Iran. Despite Hillary’s best efforts, the bill passed the Senate unanimously and the House with only eight dissenting votes.
Finally, Obama administration officials negotiated a delay in the implementation of any new sanctions that gave Iran time to figure out how to circumvent the sanctions and minimize some of the damage caused by them by trading oil for gold with Turkey.
So, given this history of opposing sharp punishment and controls on Iran, the question for the future is: Can Hillary be trusted to “snap back” into place the very sanctions she opposed and fought against in Congress should Iran break its commitments? Not very likely.