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Obama Renews Sanctions on Syria for a Year

Al-Manar TV – 04/05/2010

President Barack Obama Monday renewed US sanctions on Syria for a year, accusing Damascus of supporting what he called “terrorist” groups and pursuing missile programs and weapons of mass destruction.

There had been no expectation that Obama would lift the measures, but the renewal came at an especially sensitive time in often tense US-Syria relations, despite efforts by the administration to return an ambassador to Damascus.

The United States has also recently accused Syria and Iran of arming Hezbollah with increasingly sophisticated rockets and missiles, which it says are undermining stability in the region.

Obama said in a message to Congress renewing the sanctions imposed by former US president George W. Bush in 2004, that the Syrian government had made “some progress” in suppressing the infiltration of foreign fighters bound for Iraq. But he added that its “continuing support for terrorist organizations and pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and missile programs, continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.”

Obama also called on Syria to demonstrate “progress” in the areas that Washington says justify sanctions, to allow them to be lifted in future.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last week warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against the risk of sparking a regional war if he supplies long-range Scud missiles to Hezbollah. “President Assad is making decisions that could mean war or peace for the region,” she told a pro-Israel group. Her remarks followed claims by Israeli President Shimon Peres in April that Syria was supplying Hezbollah with Scud missiles. But Syria has dismissed the accusations and warned Washington against taking Israel’s claims seriously.

Some US lawmakers have seized upon the accusations to argue against any rapprochement between Washington and Damascus.

In February, Obama nominated career diplomat Robert Ford as the country’s first ambassador to Syria in five years, but his appointment has yet to be confirmed by the Senate.

Bush declared a national emergency regarding Syria on May 11, 2004, and imposed economic sanctions over charges it was a state sponsor of terrorism. They were extended in 2006, tightened in 2007 and renewed the following year.

Monday’s action marked the second renewal of the sanctions regime by Obama.

May 4, 2010 - Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite, Wars for Israel

2 Comments

  1. And Obama made this decision based on information he received from….Israel? Well, I guess we can take that as Gospel. LOL

    Like

    Comment by robertsgt40 | May 4, 2010

  2. Obama the weak.

    He can’t be gutsy on Palestine but instead directs his sanctions against Syria, a benign target for America’s theatre of “anything but Israel” stance in foreign policy.
    What a hypocrit!

    You’ve done it again Israel. He still jumps when you crack the whip.

    Like

    Comment by rexw | May 4, 2010


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