It comes as no surprise that many countries are unwilling to aid the United States in their attempt to stop Iran’s nuclear program if such efforts hurt their pockets. But even when their intentions are apparently sincere, methods can prove ineffective. That was the point of a recent article in a prominent Chinese newspaper, the English-language China Daily. Columnist Wang Yan scoffed in particular at the way the US was going about trying to hurt Iran.

Using the case of Zhuhai Zhenrong Corp as an example, he noted how the Obama administration recently invoked US law to sanction the company by barring it from doing business with the US. However, he found it humorous that the company had no prior business with the US anyway, making the sanction inconsequential and redundant.

To clarify China’s official position, Yan quoted foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin stating, “Like many other countries, China maintains normal cooperation with Iran in energy, the economy and trade.”  Regarding US attempts to internationalize its unilateral sanctions against Iran, Weimin said, “This is without reason, and against the content and spirit of resolutions of the United Nations Security Council on the Iran nuclear issue.”

Others in China also express strong opposition to US policy in the official Chinese press.  Jin Canrong, the deputy dean of the School of international Studies at Renmin University of China, stated that “the US is currently self-centered, and often forces other countries to do what they are unwilling to do.”

That may well be an understandable assessment from China, but in fact many countries, including in the Middle East, are apprehensive, to say the least, about Iran’s nuclear program and its ultimate end-game.  U.S. methods may sometimes be less than artful, but in reality Washington does not stand alone on this issue.  It will be interesting to see if the official Chinese media can get around to reporting this side of the story as well.

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