Delray's State Senator Will Bring Iran to Its Knees

Mahmad Ahmadinejad had a plan for world domination -- and he woulda got away with it, too, if it weren't that meddling state senator from Delray Beach, Ted Deutch.

You see, while reading the Wall Street Journal, Deutch learned of efforts by a Swiss oil company, Vitol, to build a $125 million fuel depot in Port Canaveral, as a means of expanding its sales in the U.S. Well, it just so happens that Vitol sells Iran one quarter of that nation's fuel. It seems Deutch is angling for the state to insist that Vitol ditch the Iranians as a condition of building its depot.

"We have one chance in history to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, and this is it," said Deutch.

It's so crazy it just might work! After Iran loses a quarter of its fuel it will be desperate to get back in the good graces of The West and it will totally shut down its nuclear programs!

But then, at the end of a lengthy article in yesterday's edition, the St. Petersburg Times asked an expert to give a frank assessment of this bold strategy's chance for success.  "Approximately zero," said Gary Hufbauer, who when not killing buzzes authored Economic Sanctions Reconsidered and works as a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

Hufbauer says that even if Florida gets Vitol to stop dealing with Iran another company will pick up that contract, and the whole episode could piss off American allies, making it harder to broker nuclear arms treaties with Iran. To Hufbauer, the venture reeks of political opportunism: "State actions against companies like Vitol may advance the political careers of state governors and legislators," Hufbauer said, "but they do not serve the national interest." Ouch. Have another swig of Haterade, Hufbauer, You are not invited to the ceremony in which Iran surrenders to the Florida legislature.

-- Thomas Francis

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