Around Town …

  • The United Nations Security Council approved Resolution 1929 yesterday.  It clears the path for the fourth round of UN sanctions on Iran.   The P5+1 foreign ministers issued a statement that says, in part, that they “expect Iran to pragmatic attitude and to respond positively” to dialogue and negotiations.  Good luck with that.  With any of it really. Albeit needlessly delayed, for a year now, maybe the U.S. Congress will dust off that conference report drafts and implement a new Iran sanctions law with teeth.
  • A Canadian export controls violation case presses on.  Prosecution loses use of a key confession.
  • In anticipation of President Obama’s trip to India (in November), the India media outlets, fueled in part by comments made by U.S. officials, have been buzzing lately with numerous stories on what they perceive as the expected relaxation of export controls of civilian and defense articles destined for the second most populous country in the world.  “I expect that there will be some positive announcements to be made before the President’s visit — hopefully well before [that],” said Robert Blake, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia in a recent speech.  We’ll see if the process goes as smoothly as the 2007 123 civilian nuclear cooperation agreement.   Judging by activities in DC lately, the Indian government has turned on a full court press.
  • The State Department, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls posted its End-Use Monitoring Report for FY 2008.  There was a slight increase in the number of Blue Lantern checks.
  • Cuba’s Communist Party decided it was time to arrest close to forty dissident leaders.  It is yet another lesson for advocates of easing sanctions on Cuba.  As one author pens, it is the true fruits of dialogue with the regime.  The dissidents were arrested on or about the last day that a U.S. trade mission was in Cuba.  The Republican Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue said upon his return that “people are people. And while our countries have had our political differences, the warmth of human nature shines through.” People are people?  More like troglodytes.
  • Talking about primitive political actors on the world scene, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez has threatened a fresh round of private property expropriation. Pepsi and Coke singled out by Chavez as possible targets if they failed to cooperate with government efforts to “conserve” water.
  • A Miami man was found guilty of multiple counts of violating US export control laws and conspiracy for exporting controlled electronics to Hong Kong and China.  He will have time to think of his deeds.  He is facing 60 months in prison.
  • Global Insurers Concerned About Being Tied to US Sanctions Against Iran, “unusual foray” for the insurance world.
  • U.S. starts to take additional steps to help stop the conflict minerals trade in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
%d bloggers like this: