Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Sanctions Are a Bust: U.S. ships bras, cigarettes, bull semen and more to Iran

According to analysis released today by the Associated Press, U.S. exports to Iran grew more than tenfold during President Bush's years in office, even when adjusted for inflation. The report found that the U.S. sent roughly $146 million worth of exports last year, compared with $8.3 million in 2001, Bush's first year in office. Overall, AP’s analysis of government figures show the United States sent Iran $546 million in goods from 2001 through last year. The biggest export to Iran were cigarettes, at least $158 million worth under Bush, according to AP. The top states shipping goods to Iran include California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin.

According to the news article, “Sanctions are intended in part to frustrate Iran's efforts to build its military, but the U.S. government's own figures show at least $148,000 worth of unspecified weapons and other military gear were exported from the United States to Iran during Bush's time in office. That includes $106,635 in military rifles and $8,760 in rifle parts and accessories shipped in 2004, the data shows. Also shipped to Iran were at least $13,000 in "aircraft launching gear and/or deck arrestors," equipment needed to launch jets from aircraft carriers, according to U.S. records. Iran's navy is not believed to own or operate any carriers. Iran received at least $620,000 in aircraft parts and $19,600 worth of aircraft during Bush's terms.”

The analysis also finds, “Top U.S. exports to Iran over Bush's years in office include corn, $68 million; chemical wood pulp, soda or sulphate, $64 million; soybeans, $43 million; medical equipment, $27 million; vitamins, $18 million; bull semen, $12.6 million; and vegetable seeds, $12 million…The value of cigarettes sold to Iran was more than twice that of the No. 2 category on the export list, vaccines, serums and blood products, $73 million. Also getting Bush administration approval for export to Iran were at least $101,000 worth of bras; $175,000 in sculptures; nearly $96,000 worth of cosmetics; $8,900 in perfume; $30,000 in musical instruments and parts; $21,000 in golf carts and/or snowmobiles; $4,000 worth of movie film; and $3,300 in fur clothing.”

Hat tip to John Isaacs for the clever "bust" line and to my husband for sending the article first thing this morning before I even had coffee.

No comments: