Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Leveretts: "The coming collapse of Iran sanctions"

"... Once it becomes evident Washington won't seriously impose secondary sanctions, growth in Iranian oil shipments to China and other non-Western economies (for example, India and South Korea) will accelerate. Likewise, non-Western powers are central to Iran's quest for alternatives to US-dominated mechanisms for conducting and settling international transactions - a project that will also gain momentum after Washington's bluff is called.  Conversely, if Washington sanctions major Chinese banks and energy companies, Beijing will respond - at least by taking America to the WTO's Dispute Resolution Mechanism (where China will win), perhaps by retaliating against US companies in China.
Chinese policymakers are increasingly concerned Washington is reneging on its part of the core bargain that grounded Sino-American rapprochement in the 1970s - to accept China's relative economic and political rise and not try to secure a hegemonic position in Asia. 
Beijing is already less willing to work in the Security Council on a new (even watered-down) sanctions resolution and more willing to resist US initiatives that, in its view, challenge Chinese interests (witness China's vetoes of three US-backed resolutions on Syria).
In this context, Chinese leaders will not accept American high-handedness on Iran sanctions. At this point, Beijing has more ways to impose costs on America for violations of international economic law that impinge on Chinese interests than Washington has levers to coerce China's compliance..."

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