In a rare move, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee has sent a sharply worded letter to every member of Congress calling for an investigation into why three successive administrations have failed under existing law to determine what companies have invested in the Iranian energy sector. The letter demands that the U.S. government "enforce existing sanctions law and impose crippling new sanctions on Iran," including legislation before Congress that "contains provisions barring federal contracts to companies which are investing in Iran's energy sector or providing sensitive technology, and their parents or subsidiaries who are engaged in such activity.
We are writing to every member of Congress to express outrage at the U.S. government's continuing relationship with dozens of companies doing business with Iran," AIPAC's president, David Victor, and executive director, Howard Kohr, wrote in the March 9 letter. "These ongoing financial dealings undermine longstanding American efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.
Bottom line: AIPAC demands "crippling new sanctions" on Iran's energy sector, which will prevent gasoline and other refined energy products from getting to the Iranian people,and who -- in AIPAC's dreams -- will then rise up and force the government to stop trying to develop anuclear bomb (if that is what it's trying to do).
Of course, even if implemented, this policy will likely cause the entire population to rise in support of its hated government. (The Greens, like the Mullahs, reject the idea that Israel can have 200 nukes but that Iran can't have any).
Obviously, there are better ways to deter an Iranian bomb like comprehensive negotiations between the United States and Iran which will discuss every issue between us -- including the nature of their loathsome regime and, yes, Israel's nuclear arsenal and its refusal (unlike Iran) to actually sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty and observe international law.
I agree completely that the idea of the governing Iranian junta possessing a nuclear weapon is appalling. But the United States can do better than punishing the people in the street -- millions of whom hate the regime a lot more than we do.
As for Israel, it could make our job easier by stopping the settlements and allowing a viable Palestinian state to be created in he West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. The horrific treatment of the Palestinians by Israel is the #1 thing the mullahs have going for them as they line up the Muslim world behind them and against us. Israel can take that pretext away by ending the occupation.
But it won't, especially with AIPAC telling them: we have your back in Washington.