Today’s Questions for the President

by Peter Kirsanow

When the Quds Force plot to bomb the Saudi ambassador in a Washington, D.C., restaurant was revealed in October, you stated your administration would impose severe sanctions on Iran.

Last week the Senate voted 100–0 to impose crippling sanctions on Iran’s Central Bank to deter Iran’s development of nuclear weapons. Yet according to both the Wall Street Journal and Foreign Policy, your administration objected to the sanctions and is actually trying to dilute the severity of the sanctions in conference committee. The WSJ  reports that your administration is doing so because of concerns that sanctions could disrupt oil markets and cause gasoline prices to go up.

If oil flow and gas prices are your concern, why did your administration recently block the Keystone XL pipeline project that would have conveyed 700,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada to the U.S.?  Do you consider the pipeline a greater risk to the country than a nuclear Iran?

Similarly, if oil flow and gas prices are your concern, why did your administration force Shell Oil to abandon drilling for 2.7 billion barrels of oil off the Alaskan Coast? Is Shell Oil more unstable than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?

If your administration won’t impose tough sanctions on Iran’s Central Bank either after uncovering an Iranian plot to bomb an American restaurant to kill the Saudi ambassador or to deter Iran’s development of nuclear weapons, are there any circumstances under which you would impose tough sanctions? If so, why would the Iranians believe you now?

Do you assess a nuclear weapon in the hands of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad less problematic than a possible increase in gas prices?

Has your administration projected the probable increase in gasoline prices if Israel is forced to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities? If Iran acquires a nuclear weapon? If Iran uses a nuclear weapon?