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Kirk Takes Flak Over Iran Comments

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Kirk Takes Flak Over Iran Comments
Mark Kirk

Sen. Mark Kirk is taking flak from the left over recent comments advocating economic sanctions against Iran.

During an appearance on WLS’s “Roe and Roeper,” guest host Ron Magers asked Kirk, “Once we get into sanctions and taking those kinds of actions, the argument immediately becomes, ‘Are you really going after the government of the country, or are you taking food out of the mouths of the citizens?’”

“It’s okay to take the food out of the mouths of the citizens from a government that’s plotting an attack directly on American soil,” Kirk responded.

Kirk was responding to revelations that the Iranian government had plotted to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. on American soil, an action he said is equivalent to a declaration of war against this country.

Kirk also suggested undermining Iran’s currency by cutting off its central bank from international financial institutions.

Writing on the website Think Progress, blogger Ali Gharib noted that Kirk has developed a reputation as one of the Senate’s most hawkish members, and compared his proposals the sanctions against Iraq in the 1990s:

There is no delicate line to tip-toe here: One cannot both see the Iranian regime as an oppressor of the Iranian people and simultaneously decree that it is fine to punish the Iranian people for the actions of a government that has no accountability to them. There is a simple phrase to describe this, and it’s collective punishment.   
Perhaps Kirk wants something similar to the sanctions on Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, which did not satiate Washington’s war hawks, and caused serious suffering in Iraq. During the initial years of broad-based sanctions after the first Guld War, infant mortality in Iraq rose more than threefold, from one death out of 30 births in 1990, to one in eight in 1997.

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