By Jay Sekulow
The left's outrage over the IRS turns to a plea to 'move on'
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Iran's June 14 elections are expected to produce a president loyal to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and do nothing to improve prospects for an end to its nuclear standoff with the West or support for President Bashar Assad's embattled regime in Syria.
Lawmakers are working on a set of new and unprecedented sanctions against Iran that could prevent the Islamic republic from doing business with most of the world until it agrees to international constraints on its nuclear program, officials say.
With its economy in free fall, Iran is turning to its porous borders with Iraq and other countries to skirt increasingly effective global economic sanctions, according to congressional staffers, local journalists and advocates for tough sanctions against Tehran.
An international banking clearinghouse crucial to Iran's oil sales said Friday that it is preparing to discontinue services to Iranian financial institutions, an unprecedented and potentially devastating blow to Tehran as the West ramps up a campaign to stop its nuclear program.
Iran's leaders "may be changing their mind" about pressing ahead with their nuclear program in the teeth of international sanctions, the U.S. intelligence chief told senators Thursday.
Political pressure mounted on the Obama administration Wednesday to take a tougher stance on Iran after the disclosure of a Tehran-linked plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. in a Washington restaurant.
Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee will seek to hold the Obama administration's feet to the fire on the implementation of sanctions against Iran, undercutting the president's diplomatic efforts to stifle Tehran's nuclear ambitions.
"The decisions on Iran's nuclear program are most likely to remain in the hands of the Supreme Leader and his Revolutionary Guard. ... Unless the West is prepared to bring the regime to the brink of economic collapse combined with the credible threat of military force, we are unlikely to break the nuclear will of the regime," he said.
"The field of candidates has been whittled down to men who are extreme loyalists to Khamenei," said Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies.