Sometimes it is hard to believe the level of hypocrisy practiced by Senator John McCain and his Republican allies when it comes to their lack of commitment to strengthening and enforcing sanctions against Iran. Today, Sharon Theimer of the Associated Press reported that, "U.S. exports to Iran -- including brassieres, bull semen, cosmetics and possibly even weapons -- grew more than tenfold during President Bush's years in office even as he accused Iran of nuclear ambitions and helping terrorists."
Despite allowing more than a tenfold increase in trade with Iran, McCain and the Republicans continue to attack Senator Barack Obama for supposedly being insufficiently tough on Iran - we at the National Jewish Democratic Council have had enough. While Republicans play a shameless political game to dupe the American people, they cannot explain the hundreds of millions of dollars that Republicans have allowed to be exported to Iran since Bush first took office in 2001.
The United States sent Iran $546 million in goods from 2001 through last year, government figures show. It exported roughly $146 million worth last year, compared with $8.3 million in 2001, Bush's first year in office. Even adjusted for inflation, that is more than a tenfold increase. (Theimer, Associated Press, 4/8/08)
No only did these exports include military rifles, rifle parts, aircraft, aircraft parts, and other items that can be used for military use, they may have been sold at a deep discount.
[M]ilitary items can sell for pennies on the dollar compared with what the Pentagon paid. Last year, federal agents seized four F-14 fighter jets sold to domestic buyers by an officer at Point Mugu Naval Air Station, Calif., for $2,000 to $4,000 each, with proceeds benefiting a squadron recreation fund. When F-14s were new, they cost roughly $38 million each. (Theimer, Associated Press, 4/8/08)
These numbers are not only disturbing because we are avoiding our own sanctions against Iran, but also because we have Republican leadership who are so willing to mislead the American people by attacking Obama for being weak on Iran.
McCain and his Republican allies have a lot to answer for concerning Iran. They can start by explaining this tenfold increase in exports to Iran and McCain's vote on S.Amdt. 1351 to S. 1042 (for more details on this amendment take a look at "McCain, Iran, and the Jewish Vote").