Global Times - 01.08.2019

(Jacob Rumans) #1

16 Thursday August 1, 2019


FORUM


Iran’s recent withdrawal from parts of
its obligations under the 2015 landmark
nuclear deal was meant to create balance
in the state of affairs amid the US exit
from the deal last year, said Amir Ali
Abolfath, the Iranian political expert in
US affairs.
US President Donald Trump pulled
Washington out of the nuclear deal, or
the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action
(JCPOA), in May 2018, leaving the fate
of the accord in question and precipitat-
ing tensions following the reimposition
of sanctions, lifted under the deal, by
Washington.
Abolfath said that since May 2018
and after the US exit, Iran did its best to
address the situation surrounding the
nuclear deal through what is sometimes
referred to as “strategic patience.”
“Iran waited for a year to see if the
Europeans could offset the impact of the
US pullout from the nuclear deal and se-
cure Iran’s interests. But it seemed that
the Europeans, regardless of whether
they could or couldn’t, failed to fulfill
Iran’s demands and were not able to


continue to abide by their commitments
under JCPOA without facing harsh US
sanctions,” he said.
The EU announced the launch of
the bloc’s special payment channel with
Iran, namely INSTEX, in January to
secure trade with Tehran and skirt US
anti-Iran sanctions.
According to a report by Iran’s
Eghtesadonline news website, the mech-
anism would only entail deals in prod-
ucts such as pharmaceuticals and food,
which are not subject to US sanctions.
However, Iran has been cynical of the
EU’s “seriousness” and feasibility of the
mechanism and has said the arrange-
ment must include oil sales, to supply
Iran with petrodollars, or to provide sub-
stantial credit facilities for it to be ben-
eficial.
Accordingly, the Islamic republic
started withdrawal from parts of its ob-
ligations under the deal in two intervals
since May 2019.
Iran announced the increase in pu-
rity of its enriched uranium beyond
3.67 percent, and surpassed low-grade

enriched uranium stockpile beyond 300
kilograms, the limits set in the fraught
accord.
On Monday, Iran’s foreign ministry
warned the European signatories of the
2015 Iranian nuclear deal of withdraw-
ing from more of its commitments if
they fail to meet Iran’s demands.
“We are still waiting for the Europe-
ans’ practical and concrete measures
in implementing the nuclear deal,” Ira-
nian foreign ministry spokesman Abbas
Mousavi said.
Tehran’s patience is running out,
Mousavi said, adding that Iran would
take “the third step if the Europeans
fail to honor their commitments once
again.”
Moreover, Abbas Araqchi, the Iranian
envoy to the nuclear talks, stressed Sun-
day that Iran will continue to abandon
more of its commitments pertaining to
the deal if the remaining parties to the
accord fail to help Iran reap its economic
interests.
Abolfath suggested that US pressures
and Europe’s failure to guarantee Iran’s

interests has left Tehran with no option
but to scale back from its nuclear com-
mitments.
“The (Iranian) move is meant to help
create the lost balance in the deal and re-
duce US pressure on the country, which
may prompt Trump to change his Iran
policy,” he said.
Tehran does not seem to have many
options in a situation where Trump’s at-
titude and conflicting voices have not left
much room for “optimism,” he pointed
out.
“Although I do not want to make any
recommendation, I would like to reiter-
ate that the path chosen by Iran [to re-
duce nuclear commitment] seems to be
the only option for the Islamic Republic,
despite it being very costly and difficult,”
Abolfath concluded.

The article is from the Xinhua News Agency.
opinion@globaltimes.com.cn

Page Editor:
liaixin@globaltimes.com.cn

US hysteria and pervasive Red Scare


Iran aims at balance by trimming nuclear pledge amid US pullout: expert


By Clifford A. Kiracofe


W


ashington seems to
be in the grip of a
new Red Scare these
days that is damaging US-
China relations. It will not be
easy to repair that damage with
or without a Red Scare.
US policy toward China
moved from former US presi-
dent Barack Obama’s pivot
to President Donald Trump’s
trade and tech war to today’s
Red Scare. US elites, presiding
over a US in relative decline,
appear to be ever more hys-
terical and blame foreigners,
instead of themselves, for US
problems.
Blaming foreigners for
domestic ills feeds a blind
populism that US politicians
cynically manipulate. It has
reached the disgraceful
point today where elected
members of Con-
gress whose families
recently came to the
US are told to “go
back home.” For a
nation of immigrants,
this would seem out
of place in normal
times. But the times
are not normal in the
US.
The first Red Scare
began in the 1920s
when Soviet Com-
munism was seen as
penetrating the US.
The second Red
Scare occurred dur-
ing the 1950s when
US Senator Joseph
McCarthy launched
into tirades against


supposed Soviet penetration of
the US federal government in
Washington.
The current Red Scare
involves accusations against
China involving everything
from tech and espionage to
Chinese students and profes-
sors.
So why is there a new Red
Scare?
US hegemonism blinds rul-
ing elites, who have a deep fear
of losing global dominance
in the emerging multipolar
world. This fear explains the
increasing hysteria in the US
Congress and in the White
House directed not only
against China but also against
Russia and Iran these days.

Rather than adjusting to the
emerging multipolar interna-
tional environment, Washing-
ton doubles down on its policy
of imperialism and attempts to
maintain hegemony. The US
should recognize a chang-
ing world and that it is only
through constructive diplo-
macy and honest competition
can the US make its way.
For decades, the US has
used its power to drag the
world into an international sys-
tem locked into finance capital-
ism. But today there are other
development models and they
have a right to coexist. The US

rejects such coexistence which
is the reason why Washington
uses the trade and tech war
against China’s model in order
to change it.
Alternative development
models such as Europe’s social
market or China’s socialism
with Chinese characteristics
are perceived to threaten Wash-
ington’s ability to impose Wall
Street-friendly finance capital-
ism. At the same time, China’s
rapid modernization, based on
intensive scientific research
and innovative technology, not
to mention plain hard work,
displaces the US which is in
relative socioeconomic decline.
What
about China-
US relations?
It will not
be easy for
China, or the
international
community for
that matter, to
manage relations
with a US in rela-
tive decline. The
US, for example, is
plagued by poverty,
the destruction of
the middle class,
racial tensions,
political polariza-
tion, drug addiction,
public health issues,
diminished science-
tech-engineering-math
capability, disintegrating
infrastructure and lack of
skilled labor.
The fixed hegemonic
objective of US foreign
policy suggests that Wash-
ington will have increasing

difficulty in maintaining its
position amid a changing
international situation. Inter-
national relations theory, not
to mention history, indicates
that other countries will offset
an imperial power through
cooperation.
US hegemonism is a bipar-
tisan policy. Hubris and narcis-
sism poison the ruling elites.
Obama began the pivot using
military and diplomatic tools
to “rebalance” against China.
Trump continues that but adds
economic and information war
tools.
US-China relations can-
not be expected to improve
significantly until the US elites
change their hegemonic and
Cold War mind-set and under-
take a new constructive foreign
policy and national strategy
adapted to a complex multipo-
lar world.
The increasing hysteria and
lack of confidence in Washing-
ton leads to a vindictive policy
and lashing out at the world.
Calm reflection about US capa-
bilities and policy goals, means
and ends, is hardly possible.
Washington must focus
narrowly and prudently on
national interest, not on he-
gemony, global crusades, and
unnecessary military adven-
tures. Washington has made a
mess of relations with China
and must now rethink a way
forward.

The author is an educator and
former senior professional staff
member of the Senate Committee
on Foreign Relations. opinion@
globaltimes.com.cn

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT
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