By Hamid Dabashi         5th August

(CNN) — In a recent congressional hearinart.hamid.dabashig, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman called the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act “a sword of Damocles over the Iranians” that will soon come down if President Obama’s diplomatic overture did not show signs of success by the fall.

That sword is no mere metaphor and might kill more than the president’s diplomatic overture.

The hearing came as demonstrators around the globe joined Iranians protesting the brutal crackdown of the uprising against the beleaguered regime and as a kangaroo court began the trial of the leading reformists while the contested second-term presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was about to be summarily inaugurated.

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