Nikki Haley served as governor of South Carolina, 2011-2017, and U. S. ambassador to the United Nations, 2017-2018. She is a senior adviser to United Against Nuclear Iran. Here’s a riddle: Iran has no access to international banking systems. It can’t do business with firms that want to access U. S. markets. Most of its assets are frozen. So how does the cash-starved Iranian regime continue to fund terrorist groups across the Middle East? The answer, increasingly, is China. And President Biden has largely chosen to look the other way as China steadily buys millions of barrels of Iranian oil. Late last month, an anonymous U. S. official told Reuters that the administration has “been approaching this diplomatically with the Chinese” because doing so is “a more effective path forward.”Really? Tracking Iran’s oil sales to China is difficult because much of the trade is covert, but industry monitors report that in 2021 China imports hundreds of thousands of barrels of Iranian crude per day. Every barrel of Iranian oil offloaded in Chinese ports is a violation of sanctions the United States put in place to starve revenue from Iranian terror and its nuclear program. Yet the Biden administration leaves Chinese firms unpunished for doing business with the ayatollahs. Why would Biden let this brazen defiance continue? Two reasons. On Iran, he has said that dialogue and diplomacy are the key to progress, especially when it comes to reviving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. The previous administration withdrew from the deal in 2018. As for China, Biden’s policy is incoherent. He often seems hesitant to take steps that might hamper his ability to negotiate a climate deal. The Chinese Communist Party and President Xi Jinping know that supporting Iran is good for Beijing and bad for America. Iran is an important part of the CCP’s Belt and Road Initiative, through which China gains trade access in exchange for infrastructure funding. There’s no world in which China’s involvement in the Middle East makes the United States safer. A strengthened partnership with Iran is also critical to China’s energy interests. Through an illicit tanker fleet known as its “ghost armada,” Iran is able to violate sanctions at will. The Federal Reserve of St. Louis estimates Iran’s crude-oil exports at 558,000 barrels daily, rising to 608,000 next year. It is sitting on some of the world’s largest oil and natural-gas reserves. China wants access to those energy sources, and if Beijing can get it while propping up the United States’s enemy, all the better. Iran and China have recently taken their alliance a step further. Last year, they finalized a “strategic partnership” that commits Beijing to investing $400 billion in Iran over 25 years. In exchange, China will get long-term access to discounted Iranian crude supplies and deepen its presence in Iran’s ports, railways, telecommunications and elsewhere.
All data is taken from the source: http://washingtonpost.com
Article Link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/10/19/if-biden-wont-fight-chinas-importing-iranian-oil-congress-should/
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