See More on Facebook

Diplomacy

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 But although the deal has proved effective, the current administration has not only withdrawn the US from the deal, it continues to pursue a maximum pressure campaign against Iran for reasons originating from previous mistakes and misjudgments by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

Diplomacy

Japan, Russia to not discuss sensitive territorial issue at G20

Japan, Russia likely to skip agreement on travel to northern territories at G20. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin are unlikely to agree on a framework to facilitate travel to the northern territories at their bilateral meeting to be held as early as Saturday on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit, according to Japanese government sources. Since April, the two governments have been studying a system to grant people traveling between the two countries and the northern territories special passport and visa treatment. The system would enable joint economic activities without harming the legal positions of Japan and Russia, which both claim sovereignty over the four islands. Japan had been considering a Russian proposal to allow short-term visa exemptions for travel between Hokkaido and Sakhalin in the Russian Far East, with the aim of reaching an


By The Japan News
June 26, 2019

Diplomacy

Vietnam, EU to sign free trade agreement

The agreement will be signed in Hanoi on June 30. The European Council announced on Tuesday that it has approved the European Union – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the EU – Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), and assigned the EU to sign the deals with Vietnam on June 30 in Hanoi The EVFTA and EVIPA are the most ambitious agreements concluded between the EU and a developing country. Once the EVFTA takes effect, over 99 per cent of tariff on goods from both sides will be lifted. Vietnam will remove 65 per cent of import tariff on goods from the EU. Remaining tariffs will be removed in the next decade. Besides offering significant economic opportunities, the trade agreement ensures that trade, investment and sustainable development go hand in hand, by setting the highest standards of labour, safety, environmental and consumer protection. Meanwhile, the EVITA will h


By Viet Nam News
June 26, 2019

Diplomacy

US should stop forcing nations to take sides

China state media says US should stop pursuing its polarising diplomacy programs. When then US president Barack Obama launched his Pivot to Asia strategy in 2012, trying to drive a wedge between China and its neighbors, the Southeast Asian nations’ response was loud and clear: They did not want to be forced to choose between China and the United States. The US has been a security ally for some ASEAN nations, while China has been their largest trade partner. So maintaining good relations with both makes perfect sense. European nations also resisted US pressure in 2015 by joining the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Luxembourg will host the AIIB’s first annual meeting outside Asia next month. After labeling China a revisionist power and a strategic competitor in its 2018 national security strategy, the US has intensified its efforts to curtail the rise of China. Instead of l


By China Daily
June 26, 2019

Diplomacy

Pakistan’s Iran conundrum

It’s hard to identify any country that benefits from relentless US efforts to tighten the screws on Iran. On November 21, 1979, Pakistani protesters stormed the United States embassy in Islamabad. They smashed windows and set fire to the building. By the time the Pakistani military had quelled the violence, the embassy had sustained extensive damage and several people — both Americans and Pakistanis — had died. The attack came at a tense moment for US-Pakistan relations. Several months earlier, Washington


By Dawn
June 26, 2019

Diplomacy

US, China must compromise to reach deal: Chinese official

Both sides must come together in good faith for any progress to be made. Both China and the United States must be willing to compromise if they are to reach a deal when presidents Xi Jinping and Donald Trump meet at the G-20 Summit this week, a Chinese trade official has said. Vice-Minister for Commerce Wang Shouwen said at a news briefing yesterday that trade teams from both sides are in talks. He did not elaborate, but stressed that China negotiates on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit. “An agreement reached has to be beneficial for both sides, and meeting each other halfway means both sides must be willing to compromise – not just one side giving way,” said Mr Wang, who is part of China’s negotiating team.


By The Straits Times
June 26, 2019

Diplomacy

Pakistan to get $3bn in deposits, direct investments from Qatar

Pakistan has recently received loans from the World Bank and investments from the Saudis. Qatar is making $3 billion dollars worth of new investments in Pakistan, in the form of deposits and direct investments, said Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan on Monday. The economic partnership between Qatar and Pakistan will reach $9 billion, Qatar News Agency quoted foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani as saying. “The Qatari-Pakistani economic partnership will amount to $9 billion. Qatar affirms


By Dawn
June 25, 2019