Obama chops 311.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
After years of
congressional efforts, sweeping new Iran sanctions will become law
Thursday night when US President Barack Obama signs the bill on his
desk.The group of
Israeli businessmen, led by financial strategist Shai
Baaton, said the proper way to respond to the blacklist was for the
companies to boycott Iran completely and see how long Ahmadinejad’s
regime could last without Coca-Cola and computers.
The legislation affects the gasoline, financial, insurance
and shipping sectors, among others, as it seeks to impose a heavy
economic cost on Iran for continuing with its nuclear program.
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bill attempts to bar foreign countries from exporting refined petroleum
to Iran, as well as restrict access to American financial institutions
for any entities that help Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps. It also
seeks to choke off investment, technology and development of Iran’s
energy sector, and makes it easier for states and localities to divest
from companies that do business with Iran.
The measure was passed
overwhelmingly by the Senate and House last week ahead of the July 4
recess. Sponsors described it as the toughest ever to target Iran.
the Obama administration had expressed some reservations about the
details of the bill, its main concern was that the move would disrupt
its own efforts to get a new sanctions resolution through the UN
Security Council. Once that passed last month, lawmakers seized on the
opportunity to build on the framework by putting through the unilateral
Though the White House didn’t get as much latitude as
it was seeking, it will still have the ability to determine how
aggressively the sanctions are pursued and enforced.
Jewish groups have enthusiastically welcomed the legislation, as has the
Israeli businessmen to companies: 'Pull out of Iran completely'
Meanwhile, a group of Israeli businessmen
wrote letters on Thursday to dozens of companies blacklisted by Iran for
being “Zionist” or “Jewish-owned,” declaring that the companies must
respond by pulling out of Iran completely. The letters will be sent over
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad signed a new
amendment to a law forbidding the airing of advertisements for “Zionist
companies” on Wednesday. The list of companies includes many American
and international corporations with branches in Israel, such as
Coca-Cola, Nestle, Intel and IBM.
Ahmadinejad said that in an
effort to support the Palestinians, he would propose similar laws in
international forums, including the United Nations, the Arab League and
the Muslim Forum.
“Ahmadinejad is the Hitler of the 21st century and is the first
dictator of the century to adopt such blatantly anti-Semitic policies,”
Baaton said. “Any enlightened person, and especially any Jew who
continues dealing with Iran, is a traitor to the Jewish people and the
democratic principles of the free world.”
'Companies should boycott Iran out of self-respect'
Baaton said the companies should boycott Iran not only out of good
judgment and values, but also out of their own self-respect. The
president of the Cashflow colleges that promote financial independence,
Baaton initiated a boycott of companies that do business with Iran last
He also sent a letter to Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz urging him to
implement a bill passed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu two years
ago that requires Israel to divest from an as-yet-unwritten list of
companies that do business with Iran.