Russia Helping Iran Circumvent Illegal US Sanctions
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
Unilaterally imposed US sanctions against other nations have no legal validity. They're used against governments unwilling to subordinate their sovereign rights to its interests.
Washington uses them as weapons of war by other means against nations on its target list for regime change.
In 1996, the Vienna-based International Progress Organization called sanctions "an illegitimate form of collective punishment of the weakest and poorest members of society, the infants, the children, the chronically ill, and the elderly."
When unilaterally imposed, they violate Chapter VII of the UN Charter, authorizing the Security Council alone to intervene against member states to restore peace, stability and security.
Its members alone may impose sanctions on member states, their entities or individuals — not heads of state, legislatures or courts of any nation.
Along with wars of aggression, color revolutions, and old-fashioned coups, use of sanctions is a favorite US tactic against targeted nations — notably used against Cuba (since 1962), Iran (since 1979), Syria (since 1979), the Russian Federation (since 2014), North Korea, and China, among other countries.
They're imposed by the US based on Big Lies and deception, the Trump regime using them more aggressively against Venezuela, North Korea, and Iran than its predecessors — aiming to crush their economies and immiserate their people into submission.
What hasn't worked before is highly unlikely to be achieved ahead. Failure hasn't deterred the Trump regime from continuing to use weaponized sanctions as a hammer against the rule of law, peace, equity and justice.
Throughout its history, the Islamic Republic has found ways to circumvent illegal US sanctions, including by working cooperatively with private entities and friendly nations like Russia, China, and Turkey.
Last year it was reported that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani struck an agreement with Vladimir Putin and Turkey's Erdogan aimed at circumventing US sanctions, perhaps with China as well at the time.
Last fall, Rouhani said "(w)e will continue by all means to both produce and export" oil. It's "in the frontline of confrontation and resistance," adding:
"It is not strange that countries that are sanctioned find ways to dodge the sanctions."
"The Americans should know that a country which is sanctioned would still be able to find solutions to move forward."
"They cannot do this because various mechanisms have been discovered to maintain Iran's oil exports."
Iran has been circumventing US sanctions for decades. Responding to Trump's sanctions war, a statement in May said its oil sales will continue regardless of US tactics to block them.
On Friday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said "Iran should have the opportunity to carry out oil exports at least approximately on a scale comparable to the period until May of last year" — when Trump pulled out of the JCPOA nuclear deal, breaching a Security Council adopted international agreement, making it binding international law.
If Brussels fails to launch its so-called Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) to maintain normal economic, financial, and trade relations with Iran, Russia will help Tehran maintain its exports and circumvent US-imposed restrictions on its financial transactions — bypassing the dollar.
European officials pledged to maintain normal economic, financial, and trade relations with Iran but failed to back promises with positive actions. Russia and China consider the Islamic Republic to be a strategic partner.
According to TankerTrackers.com, when Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was in Beijing last month for talks on "regional and international issues," the Chinese oil tanker Pacific Bravo headed "eastward, having loaded approximately 2 million barrels of Iranian oil from the Soroosh and Kharg terminals in the Persian Gulf over the past few days," adding:
The tanker "report(ed) its destination as Indonesia, but (it) was recently acquired by Bank of Kunlun, a financial institution that is owned by the Chinese state oil company CNPC."
"TankerTrackers.com believes China is the ultimate destination for the oil on board."
The Chinese-owned tanker was the first to load Iranian crude after the Trump regime ended waivers on the purchase of Iranian oil to designated countries.
Weeks earlier, China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said his government "resolutely opposes" unilateral sanctions on Iran.
China and other countries continue normal relations with Tehran. Russian efforts to further help its ruling authorities sell crude and related products, along with conducting financial transactions by circumventing the dollar, are important ways to counter illegal US sanctions.
Imposing them failed to achieve US objectives for decades. What hasn't worked before is unlikely to be successful ahead.
The Trump regime failed to halt construction of Russia's Nord Stream II gas pipeline to deliver 55 billion cubic meters of low-cost natural gas to European markets when completed in late 2019 or early 2020 — at the expense of much more costly and less accessible US liquified natural gas (LNG).
Its aim to bring Iranian oil exports to zero and halt its international financial transactions failed so far and is unlikely to work ahead.
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