Hamid Dabashi at CNN points out that the US executive's (the Obama administration's) plans to engage Iran may come up against Congress's desire to act aggressively toward the country, either through crippling sanctions or covert operations. A recent congressional hearing on Iran chaired by Howard Berman stacked the decks in favor of the Neoconservatives, 4 to 2 (with discredited outfits such as the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the American Enterprise Institute, which were big players in bringing us the Iraq War and are key components of the Israel lobbies). Why were the real Iran experts, such as Gary Sick and others prevented from testifying? Why is it that the ideological points of view were so narrow?
It should be admitted that the Obama administration itself may be considering attempting to choke off Iranian gasoline imports. Iran presumably would respond by building a couple refineries, which it probably needs to do anyway. But it takes 5 years and billions of dollars to build a refinery. As Press TV notes, however, the scheme would need Russian and Chinese cooperation, which is a little unlikely to be forthcoming.
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