Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Reuters dissembles for the Saudis

International sanctions have apparently not dented Iran's hopes of joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) by 2017.  However, there's one small catch: WTO rules require member states to abandon any boycotts they maintain against fellow member states.  And Israel, which Iran refuses to refer to by name (when not threatening her with obliteration), is a member of the WTO.  So when reporters asked the Iranian Commerce Minister whether Iran would be willing to drop its boycott of Israel to gain admittance into the WTO, he "declined to say".

Reuters then asserts:
Saudi Arabia dropped its boycott of Israel when it joined the WTO in 2005.
In fact, while the Saudis may have agreed to drop their boycott of Israel, it is more restrictive than ever:
A review of US Commerce Department data conducted by the Post found that the number of boycott-related and restrictive trade-practice requests received by American companies from Saudi Arabia has increased in each of the past two years, rising from 42 in 2006 to 65 in 2007 to 74 in 2008, signifying a jump of more than 76 percent.  The bulk of these requests were related to the companies' or products' relationship to Israel. Typically, Saudi officials ask foreign suppliers to affirm that any goods exported to the desert kingdom are not manufactured in Israel and do not contain any Israeli-made components... The Commerce Department figures reflect only those requests that have been officially reported to the US government.
Reuters really ought to catch up with the news.

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