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'Rogue state' not guilty of barefaced larceny

China Daily | Updated: 2023-09-13 07:16

This photo taken on Dec 8, 2022 shows the US Capitol building in Washington, DC, the United States. [Photo/Xinhua]

In the first official statement about the incident issued on Friday, the US Justice Department confirmed that the United States seized a tanker loaded with Iranian oil in April. The department said it had seized the Suez Rajan, a Greek-managed tanker, and its cargo of 980,000 barrels of crude oil, for allegedly violating US sanctions.

The Justice Department said that the Suez Rajan case was the first successful disruption of a major crude shipment by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps using US criminal law.

The US has moved to formally take ownership of the cargo, worth tens of millions of dollars, which will then be sold.

This is nothing but piracy under the guise of US-style "rule of law". It is ridiculous that the US tries to stick the "rogue states" label on other countries when it is the one committing such roguish acts.

This is a typical example of the US using long-arm jurisdiction to commit a robbery, exposing what kind of "rules-based order" Washington demands others to respect.

India violates the US' "sanctions" on Russian oil and energy. But the US has never seized any tankers transporting oil to India. That also shows Washington's double standard on the issue.

The US values India's role within the Quad and in its "Indo-Pacific" strategy to contain China. So Washington keeps a studied silence over the huge oil trade between the two countries. That means the "rules" the US urges others to follow serve only the US' interests, if not hegemony. It is ironically the violators of the US rules, in many cases, that might be the real defenders of a truly rules-based order that serves the collective good of the world.

The seizure of the Suez Rajan represents a grave provocation to Teheran. The latter will by no means allow such robbery under broad daylight to continue. That directly damages Iran's legal rights and interests, and threatens global energy trade and security.

If the US really becomes so barefaced in taking advantage of its unilateral "sanctions" as an excuse to enforce its own criminal law on the high seas, it will open a Pandora's box.


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