Syria sanctions called meaningless as China, Iran provide ‘lifeline’ (WORLD TRIBUNE) LONDON, ENGLAND 04/25/12)
WORLD TRIBUNE Articles-Index-Top
LONDON — Western sanctions on the regime of President Bashar Assad
are little more than symbolic, Western diplomats said.
The sources said the regime
has been cut off from most Western suppliers but was buying time and
had sustained itself easily by relying on China and Iran
“China and Iran have been the lifeline for Assad for nearly a year,
sanctions on Syria won’t affect that,” a diplomat said.
On April 23, the EU and United States announced another round of
sanctions on the Assad regime. Washington targeted technology
suppliers of Damascus while the EU, in its 14th round of sanctions,
imposed a ban on luxury goods to Syria.
“This constitutes a loss of prestige for leading circles of the
German State Minister Michael Link said.
The EU ban was meant to hurt the Assad family, reported to purchase
Western electronics and luxury items from Europe and the United
States. Assad is said to have ordered pop CDs and other Western goods
over the Internet.
But diplomats agreed that the sanctions have not stopped the Assad
crackdown on the opposition in which up to 11,000 people were killed
since March 2011. They said neither Brussels nor Washington expected
would comply with a United Nations ceasefire plan.
“It is hard to be optimistic after everything that has happened in the
last 13 months in Syria and the Syrian regime continues to fail to
key aspects of the ceasefire,” British Foreign Secretary William
“This is a regime that is continuing in some cases to kill, to abuse
that only implemented a ceasefire at the last possible moment.”
The last Western ban on luxury goods was in 2007 and targeted North
Korea. Diplomats acknowledged that those sanctions were also symbolic
did not affect the behavior of the Pyongyang regime.
But the diplomats said the EU was prepared to step up assistance to
Syrian opposition, including the Sunni rebel movement. On April 24,
three Syrian military officers were killed in an attack around
“When the time comes, we will have to take the necessary measures
required if the situation on the ground continues,” French Foreign
spokesman Bernard Valero said. (Copyright © 2012 East West Services,
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY