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Mainstream, Vol XLV, No 40

In the Wake of US Double-Standards

by Chandra Sen

Wednesday 26 September 2007

The US State Department’s sanctions against Russian military equipment and weapon producers within the framework of the “counter Iran non-proliferation” law do not enjoy any international legitimacy. The true reason behind these American sanctions under such an invented pretext is related to the Russian special exporters’ success in the world military market at the expense of US military concerns; additionally the imposition of these sanctions is linked to the US objective of containing Russia’s growing economic might.

In this context it needs to be understood that Russian military cooperation with Iran is characterised by supplies to meet defence require-ments alone. The same weapon and military supplies are made by several other foreign companies including those from NATO member-states—this once again not only brings out US double-standards but also exposes Washington’s dirty tricks and nefarious designs to curb Moscow’s mounting economic potential.

Evidence of the White House’s double-standards on this score comes out from the US Administration’s “silent reaction” to some of its national companies’ business activity in the Middle East and their acquisition of contracts with Iran; incidentally such companies include the “Hallibur-ton” patronised by US Vice-President Dick Cheney. On being informed of these American companies’ violation of the sanctions regime, especially their employment of foreign and offshore firms for trade and financial transactions with Tehran defying the aforementioned law currently in force, the US Government feigns its inability to find reasons under which punishment could be meted out to these business enterprises. The same policy is taken by Washington in relation to those British, French and German companies which are aiming to penetrate into the Iranian market. Why? Because these Western business ventures do not damage America’s long-term interests in the region. Different sets of rules apply to Russian companies in order to economically hurt Putin’s Kremlin which is the only entity in today’s international arena that can evolve as a genuine countervailing force capable of thwarting the Bush regime’s hegemonistic dreams.

With Washington’s ugly face coming out in the open with every passing day through its flagrant defiance of international law, and its double-dealing by giving precedence to internal law and regulations over foreign (read Russian) companies’ business activities in Iran and spreading the protective umbrella over the US national business firms and those of “friendly allies” of the West, the developing countries are intensifying their efforts to reduce their dependence on the US in all fields including the sphere of military and technical cooperation. This trend is most visible among the Latin American states which are increasingly refusing to accept American weapons and military equipment to the benefit of Russian arms.

India cannot under any pretext adopt measures running counter to this trend despite all the “help” rendered by George W. Bush in the course of Indo-US negotiations on the nuclear deal. Such “help” from the leader of the neo-imperialist and neo-liberal USA must always be suspect to any discerning observer (and in any case cannot come out of a benign attitude towards India, with the hidden “price tag” becoming transparent from the provisions of the Hyde Act). The absence of such perspicacity on the part of Manmohan Singh and his colleagues only reinforces doubts on their capacity to lead the country upholding the legacy on Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru in the twentyfirst century.

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