After my earlier post on the newly imposed sanctions on three companies doing business with Iran’s energy sector, I spoke with Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington think tank that has pushed for stronger sanctions on Iran. Dubowitz highlighted the importance of the sanctions on the Chinese company, Zhuhai Zhenrong.
"The sanctions signal that the Obama administration is serious about sanctions enforcement on Chinese companies," said Dubowitz, who is also the director of the Iran Energy Project. "It was an important political step in reassuring Congress that the administration is going to move aggressively in 2012 to persuade Chinese and other companies to reduce their exposure to the Iranian energy sector."
In addition, Dubowitz noted that the action against Zhuhai Zhenrong was "a shot across the bow to Beijing that Chinese companies will not be able to act with impunity. At the same time, the sanction does not target the core of China’s energy security needs so it is unlikely to cause a major diplomatic backlash as Washington works to persuade the Chinese leadership to target Iranian sales, the real lifeblood of the Iranian regime."