Joint efforts by China, EU can offset US pullout of Iran deal

Joint efforts by China, EU can offset US pullout of Iran deal

Since US President Donald Trump has pulled his country out of the Iran nuclear deal, will China join hands with European countries to reject Trump’s renewed effort to isolate Iran?

EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini is scheduled to meet with the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany on Tuesday to discuss the Iran nuclear deal. Billions of dollars of EU investment in Iran are at risk with Trump’s decision to reinstate financial sanctions on Iran. We believe European leaders will spare no effort to salvage the Iran nuclear deal.

China also has significant trade links with Iran and seeks to keep the nuclear deal alive after Washington’s withdrawal. China and European countries have common ground on which they can convene dialogue and enhance coordination.

Signed in 2015 between Iran and a group of world powers – China, the US, Russia, France, the UK, Germany and the EU – the deal ended decades of economic sanctions and led to heavy investment flowing into Iran. Although the US unilaterally declared its withdrawal, if all other parties continue to abide by the agreement, economic and trade cooperation among them is legitimate and should be protected.

With Trump’s decision to rip up the deal, the US has turned itself into a destroyer of the global order. The US is the one that broke its agreement with the grouping. Why should China and European nations follow the rules laid down by the US and reinstate sanctions on Iran?

The US is the world’s leading economic power. The US dollar’s overwhelming position of dominance in the global financial system is one prominent example. It is precisely because of its economic hegemony that the US can arbitrarily impose unilateral sanctions on Iran. However, we can’t always allow the US to intervene in our economic and foreign policies with its economic privilege.

If Chinese and European companies doing business in Iran experience losses due to unilateral economic sanctions by the US, the governments in those countries must protect these businesses’ legitimate interests. Eventually, European countries may have to make a choice between their ally who emphasizes “America First” and the interests of their own companies. It is time to consider how China and European countries can jointly confront US unilateral economic sanctions and enhance coordination.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times. bizopinion[AT]globaltimes.com.cn