See More on Facebook


Editorial: US stance toward Iran on wrong side of history

The US should not punish the EU for making the right moves concerning Iran.

Written by

Updated: January 30, 2019

A while back, the US president said his country would no longer act as the world’s policeman. However, it seems this will be a habit the long-authoritarian Washington finds hard to kick. Certainly in terms of the long-arm jurisdiction it likes to apply on the assumption that by drawing up a domestic law it can dictate to everyone, everywhere, what they can and cannot do.

While the United States can introduce domestic legislation to prevent its own companies from doing business with anyone it dislikes, it has no legal grounds for applying that legislation to non-US entities.

If, based on their relations, the US’ allies opt to voluntarily coordinate and side with the US on a certain matter, that is their decision, right or wrong. But no country is under any obligation to observe sanctions unilaterally imposed by the US. So while Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal was in blatant disregard of its own international obligations, its latest attempt to deter the European Union from engaging with Teheran is an outrageous transgression.

The White House has warned the EU to not proceed with an alternative payment arrangement mechanism with Iran, saying it would deem it to be in breach of the US sanctions against Teheran.

All the other signatories to the Iran nuclear deal share the belief it is as good as it can be. Which is why, even with Washington gone, they have demonstrated their unanimous commitment to its continued implementation.

Inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency have found no violation of the deal on Teheran’s part. In other words, the deal has held on both sides. But although the deal has proved effective, the current administration has not only withdrawn the US from the deal, it continues to pursue a maximum pressure campaign against Iran for reasons originating from previous mistakes and misjudgments by Washington.

Instead of imposing unilateral punishing sanctions, Washington should be thankful that the deal has held. After all, it has put in nothing but has still reaped the rewards of peace. But then maybe, that is not what it wants. After all, as well as stopping Iran building a nuclear bomb, the deal also prevented the possibility of a war with Iran. Destroying the deal would restore that potentiality.

Washington’s current approach to Teheran is a dangerous round of gambling that risks not only ruining what the international community has achieved on the nuclear issue, but also further destabilizing the Middle East.

Decision-makers in Washington should know the nuclear deal is only a nuclear deal. Attaching too much to it will simply not work, and punishing the EU for doing the right thing will only end up hurting the US itself in the long run.

Enjoyed this story? Share it.

China Daily
About the Author: China Daily covers domestic and world news through nine print editions and digital media worldwide.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia

Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.

By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here


Attempts to isolate

Would a re-elected Modi rethink his Pakistan policies. Imran Khan and the military leadership have been expressing a desire for improved relations with India. But India is unlikely to respond anytime soon. And the reasons go beyond its upcoming elections. I recall here a private briefing some of us South Asia hands in Washington got from a close adviser of Narendra Modi soon after he took office as prime minister. Unaware of my identity, he spoke of Pakistan with contempt. “We are going to treat Pakistan as if it were on the other side of a high wall,” he said. Four years on, the adviser is there as is India’s Pakistan policy. How has the policy endured for so long? The search for the answer opens up a vast landscape of policy, politics and ideology in India. Beginning in 1991, India has been on a steady march to foster external relations conducive

By Dawn
February 15, 2019


Investor Jim Rogers to visit North Korea next month

The famed investor will visit Pyongyang at Kim Jong-un’s invitation. Jim Rogers, a renowned investor and chairman of Rogers Holdings, plans to visit North Korea next month at the invitation of Chairman Kim Jong-un, according to sources Tuesday. The Singapore-based investor, who once said he would “put all of my money” in North Korea if he could, received the US government’s approval for the trip with his wife. The billionaire has touted the impoverished country with a gross domestic product per capita of $1,800 as an attractive investment destination for five years, even before the thawing of inter-Korean relations last year.

By The Korea Herald
February 13, 2019


China refutes Turkey’s Uighur claims

Turkey called for re-education camps to be closed and accused China of killing a popular musician. China on Monday strongly rejected Turkey’s “absurd lie” about the death of a Uygur folk musician, saying the Turkey’s claim extremely wrong and irresponsible. “China has made solemn representations to Turkey and is firmly opposed to its groundless accusations,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular news conference in Beijing. In a statement released on Saturday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry criticized the human rights situation in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and claimed that Abdurehim Heyit, who was sentenced to eight years in prison, had died. But Heyit appeared in a video released by China Radio International on Sunday. He said, “I’m in the process of being investigated for allegedly violating national laws” and &

By China Daily
February 13, 2019


China dismisses EU spying charge

Chinese embassy dismisses groundless report about alleged Chinese espionage in Brussels. The Chinese Embassy in Belgium on Sunday dismissed recent local media report about alleged Chinese espionage in Brussels as an outright fabrication. Responding to the news report by some local media alleging that “there are about 250 Chinese spies active in Brussels,” a spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in Belgium said the report “is an outright fabrication without any evidence.” “China and Belgium now enjoy a steadily growing relationship and fruitful cooperation across all fields. China is committed to developing sound relations and cooperation with Belgium and all other countries on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefits,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “Some specific irresponsible remarks aimed to maliciously discredit China, mislead an

By China Daily
February 12, 2019


China, US to talk trade in Beijing next week

Trade talks designed to break deadlock and end tariffs which have slowed down both economies. US President Donald Trump has announced that US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will head to Beijing for trade talks on Feb 14-15, the White House said Friday morning. The principal-level meetings, following discussions that took place on Jan 30-31 in Washington, will be preceded by deputy-level negotiations that will begin on Feb 11, led by Deputy USTR Jeffrey Gerrish, according to a statement from the White House Press Secretary Office. Carlos Gutierrez, former US Secretary of Commerce, said that trade disputes are bad for both sides. “So I would hope that we have reached the limit in terms of escalation, and that we can continue the dialogue to reach an agreement,” he said in an interview on Wednesday. Last week, top Chinese and US trade

By China Daily
February 11, 2019


South Korea, US ink provisional defense cost-sharing pact

Getting allies to pay ‘their fair share’ has been a major part of President Trump’s rhetoric. South Korea and the United States signed a provisional agreement Sunday on the sharing of costs to maintain US troops here, with South Korea raising its share by 8.2 percent. Seoul’s negotiator, Chang Won-sam, and his US counterpart, Timothy Betts, met in Seoul to ink the contract. Under the new deal, South Korea will pay about 1.03 trillion won ($890 million) to cover the costs of stationing the 28,500 members of US Armed Forces Korea here throughout 2019. The figure reflects the rate of increase of South Korea’s annual defense budget, according to the Foreign Ministry in Seoul. Last year, South Korea paid about 960 billion won to its ally for the same purpose.

By The Korea Herald
February 11, 2019