According to Andy Carpenter at HoweStreet, the Bush administration sold a whole lot more to Iran than a bad reputation. He says that (via the AP) the United States sold the heart of the Axis of Evil more than $500 million in goods during Bush’s time in office.
The top exports to Iran:
$158 million in cigarettes
$68 million in corn
$64 million in chemical wood pulp, soda or sulphate
$43 million in soybeans
$27 million in medical equipment
$18 million in vitamins
$12.6 million in bull semen
$12 million in vegetable seeds
Items pending Bush administration approval:
$101,000 in bras
$175,000 in sculptures
about $96,000 in cosmetics
$8,900 in perfume
$30,000 in musical instruments and parts
$21,000 in golf carts/snowmobiles
$4,000 in movie film
$3,300 in fur clothing
What’s interesting about the exports is that last year the US Securities and Exchange Commission published a list of companies that do business in Iran or four other countries the State Department considers state sponsors of terrorism.
The SEC withdrew the list after business groups complained that such a list could inappropriately label corporations as supporters of terrorism.
The AP discovered more than 10 big corporations conducting business in Iran. These “sponsors of terrorism” include:
Wells Fargo Financial Services
BP and Exxon Mobil
This embargo, it seems, is really not an embargo at all.