mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
China And Japan Dawdle On Iran Sanctions—Does It Matter?

Last week Via Meadia reported on the possibility of enlisting key Asian states to bolster the Iranian oil embargo effort. China chickened out, while Japan announced it is committed to taking “concrete action as soon as possible to further reduce” its imports of Iranian oil. This may take some time, Japan’s spokesman conceded; as Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said, these are “just the initial stages” of these discussions.

Sanctions generally build up very slowly over time and the US campaign to tighten sanctions on Iran is going about as well as these things ever do. Yet sanctions are just one piece of the campaign to stop Iran’s nuclear program, and China and Japan’s reluctance is a good reminder to keep expectations realistic. Yesterday, another Iranian scientist was killed by an unknown assassin. Tehran was quick to accuse the US and Israel. Washington, perhaps out of concern for an Iranian-American recently sentenced to death for spying (charges which both the young man and Washington deny) disassociated itself from this latest incident, but Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, an Israeli military spokesman, wrote this on his Facebook page: “I don’t know who took revenge on the Iranian scientist, but I am definitely not shedding a tear.”

Publicly and secretly, the war against Iran continues.

Features Icon
show comments
  • Jim.

    Sure, it matters that China is not joining the embargo. They have both the money and the internal demand to completely consume Iran’s oil production.

    If they have the tanker capacity to get Iran’s oil to China, nothing can stop them short of war… and that would be war with China too, not just Iran.

    Our strategic position is not all that strong here.

  • Anthony

    There is no good scenario for the world in which China is not considered an invested participant – Peter Thiel. Iran is one of China’s top supplier of oil….

  • Jim.

    Honestly, the best (and perhaps only) way to bolster our position is to improve and deploy anti-ballistic missiles both by ship and to allied countries around the region. We have then, they work to a good extent, and further development should lead to further improvement.

    Iran’s nuclear program, indeed any nuclear program not based on ovewhelming numbers, would be moot at that point, and we would even have some hope of rolling back the nuclearization of Pakistan. (And India, if we had to.)

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service