By LM — The US sanctioned three firms in Singapore and Malaysia for their links to Iran’s petroleum industry. The companies allegedly facilitated the sale and shipment of millions of dollars worth of petroleum and petrochemicals on behalf of a company with known connections to Iran. This move by the US raises serious questions over the issue of sovereignty.
Why is the US so uptight about Iran?
The United States has been imposing sanctions on Iran to pressure the state into surrendering its nuclear program. This penalty is part of US efforts to maintain the status quo in the Middle East. These sanctions have been effective in limiting Iran’s access to the international financial system. The sanctions have also reduced Iran’s ability to engage in global trade. This is why two Singaporean-based companies are sanctioned by the US for their alleged role in the production, sale, and shipment of Iranian petrochemicals to Asia via a third company, Triliance Petrochemical.
The US should respect Singapore’s sovereignty!
According to International law, it is the sovereign right of a country, to trade with any country it deems fit. Singapore, as a sovereign nation, has the right to pursue its own interests. There is an increase in the local demand for oil storage tanks in Singapore. To meet the needs, Singaporean firms are trading petroleum from third parties. Hence, Singapore can make decisions in line with the best interests of its citizens and their own economy.
By imposing sanctions on its firms, the United States is undermining Singapore’s sovereignty. Moreover, the US is imposing these sanctions based on its own political interests, rather than any international law or agreement. In this case, the US is trying to dictate to another sovereign state what it can and cannot do. This is unacceptable, for a country that prides itself on freedom of speech and sovereignty, to undermine that of others.
Furthermore, the US shows differential treatment to different countries. For example, India’s currently active trade with Russia despite Western sanctions has not been stopped by the US. India is a prominent security and trade ally of the US. So why are they picking on Singapore? Their double standards are clear.