Dick Cheney the multilateral


Dick Cheney, the multilateral <$NoAd$>years …

KUALA LUMPUR, April 20, 1998

Former United States Defence Secretary Dick Cheney today hit out at his government for imposing unilateral economic sanctions like the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act, saying they have been “ineffective, did not provide the desired results and a bad policy”.

“I have made it clear that our (the US unilateral) sanctions policy is wrong,” he said when asked to comment on the Iran-Libya Act which contains provisions for sanctions to be imposed by the US against foreign companies making investment beyond US$20 million a year in the oil and gas sector of the targeted countries.

Malaysia, which is against the extra-territorial law, has said that Petronas and other Malaysian companies will continue to invest abroad despite the US threat of sanctions under the Act.

Petronas is currently involved in a US$2 billion gas field project in Iran undertaken jointly with SA Total of France and Gazprom of Russia.

Speaking to reporters after calling on Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad at the Prime Minister’s office here, Cheney, who is now the chairman and CEO of Halliburton, said: “The US needs to be much more restraint then we have been in terms of pursuing unilateral economic sanctions.”

Cheney, who served under the Bush administration between 1989 and 1993, however said the multilateral economic sanctions imposed by the international community on Iraq were “appropriate”.

“I disagree with the current law (Iran-Libya Sanctions Act) but my company will comply with the rule (Act),” he said.

He said he also disagreed with the unilateral economic sanctions imposed on Myanmar and Arzerbaijan.

See this article for more on the grand jury investigation into whether Halliburton broke the Iranian sanctions law.

For what it’s worth, I think the promiscuous use of unilateral economic sanctions probably is a bad idea — an example of the capricious and shortsighted use of American power that limits our ability to deal forcefully with real problems by antagonizing allies and frittering away diplomatic capital with silliness like the continuing sanctions against Cuba, among other examples.