Thursday, May 22, 2014

What the Sino-Russian Gas Deal Says about American Foreign Policy’s Self-Damaging Trajectory

"... Likewise, over the last four years, Russia and China have refused to support Security Council authorization of further multilateral sanctions against Iran, and have become ever more resentful of what they consider Washington’s illegal and unilaterally imposed secondary sanctions regime.  Their opposition to new multilateral sanctions intersected with increasing incentives for them to defy existing U.S. sanctions to push Washington’s sanctions policy to the limit.  This reality—combined with President Obama’s inability to act on his declared intention to attack Syria after chemical weapons were used there in August 2013, which made clear that Washington can no longer credibly threaten the effective use of force in the region—has compelled the Obama administration to take a more serious approach to nuclear diplomacy with Tehran.  If, in the end, the United States proves unwilling to conclude a final nuclear deal with Iran, Russia and China are likely to become far less accommodating of U.S. demands for compliance with Washington’s illegitimate secondary sanctions.  Moscow, for example, could conclude a $20 billion deal it is currently negotiating with Iran, whereby Iran would swap oil volumes for Russian industrial goods and equipment..."

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