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24 Mar, 2012

China Daily Commentary: U.S. Double Standards On Iran Sanctions

China Daily Commentary

2012-03-23 (China Daily Commentary) — Once again the United States is trying to throw its weight around and impose its unilateral vision on other countries.

The US imposed tough new sanctions at the turn of the year, aimed at preventing other countries from importing Iranian oil and conducting transactions with its central bank in a bid to reduce Iran’s oil revenues, which the US claims Iran is using to fund a nuclear weapons program.

But then on Tuesday, Washington announced it would exempt Japan and 10 European nations from its sanctions, saying these countries have “significantly reduced” their oil imports from the Islamic country.

These European nations and Japan all have an alliance with the US.

Meanwhile, in a blatant demonstration of the double standards it employs in its pursuit of hegemony, the US continues to pressure 12 other countries, including China and India, to reduce their oil imports from Iran.

The US doesn’t have right to impose its will on other countries in this way. It is only natural that the US’ presumptuous demand that China should stop trading with Iran should meet with strong opposition from China.

Like many countries in the world, China has maintained normal, open and transparent ties with Iran in the fields of economics, trade and energy, and it legally imports oil from Iran through normal channels.

As Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei pointed out on Wednesday, China imports oil based on its economic development needs without violating any relevant UN Security Council resolutions or undermining any third party’s interests.

The US measure to punish foreign banks that settle oil imports with the Iranian central bank, implemented at the end of last year, has simply prompted the 10 EU nations and Japan to transfer more of their oil demand to other countries. This has only served to tighten the global supply of oil and drive up oil prices, which poses a threat to much-needed global growth.

Rising oil prices hit all countries hard, even the US, where consumers have had to bear the brunt of a 20 percent hike in oil prices since December.

Tehran refutes the accusations that its nuclear program is for military purposes.

Sanctions are not the solution to the Iranian nuclear crisis. Only through dialogue and cooperation can it be properly solved.

All parties concerned should adopt constructive measures and start sustainable dialogue on the issue as soon as possible.