Europe's Trade with Iran's Butchers

(Wall Street Journal Europe) Goli Ameri - Security Council resolutions and focused sanctions serve as public relations window-dressing. Europe is the key to any meaningful behavior-modifying sanctions on Iran. The continued focus on Russia and China's intransigence is allowing Europe to stay under the radar. In 2008 the EU was Iran's top trading partner with imports and exports totaling $36.4 billion. The prevailing wisdom is that Europe needs Iran for its energy needs and is unable to cut off trade in a recessionary environment. Iran ranks as the EU's fifth supplier of crude oil after Russia, Norway, Libya, and Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia can step in, as it has done at least once in the past, to fill the oil vacuum created by sanctioning the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). To peacefully weaken the IRGC's muscle, Europe has no choice but to act now and cut off their source of capital. Europe should note that Iranians won't fast forget countries that thwart their march toward democracy and freedom. The writer is former U.S. assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs.

2010-01-01 07:26:06

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