China said it may limit its “counterproliferation” work with Washington over U.S. steps to punish an accused violator of Iran sanctions, Reuters reports.
China’s foreign ministry on Wednesday said Beijing “resolutely opposes” new U.S. actions to target Li Fangwei, a Chinese entrepreneur described by the Treasury Department as a “known proliferator for Iran’s ballistic missile program.” Treasury on Tuesday announced penalties against eight firms operated by Li, and the State Department announced a $5 million bounty in a bid to detain him, Reuters reported separately.
Federal prosecutors on Tuesday accused Li of evading prior U.S. penalties through an expanding array of front firms, the Wall Street Journal reported. They seized $6.9 million in money linked to the alleged proliferator, according to Reuters.
David Cohen, Treasury Department under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said the United States “will continue vigorously to enforce [its] sanctions, even as we explore the possibility of a comprehensive deal addressing Iran’s nuclear program.”
Beijing is one of five governments working with Washington in an ongoing multilateral dialogue on Iran’s nuclear program. Washington and other Western governments hope the talks will lead to long-term limits on Iran’s weapon-usable nuclear activities, though Tehran insists its atomic intentions are peaceful.
“The U.S. [actions against Li] won’t help solve the problem and will also impair our nonproliferation cooperation,” the Journal quoted foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang as saying. “We urge the U.S. to stop sanctions of companies and individuals and come back to the right track of nonproliferation cooperation.”
He added that Beijing closely monitors its own trade rules and would “seriously deal” with any breaches, Reuters reported.
Li has asserted innocence in the past, but he was unavailable on Tuesday to respond to the latest U.S. actions.
What We're Following See More »
"A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that 34% of registered voters think the three presidential debates would be extremely or quite important in helping them decide whom to support for president. About 11% of voters are considered 'debate persuadables'—that is, they think the debates are important and are either third-party voters or only loosely committed to either major-party candidate."
Will he or won't he? That's the question surrounding Donald Trump and his on-again, off-again threats to bring onetime Bill Clinton paramour Gennifer Flowers to the debate as his guest. An assistant to flowers initially said she'd be there, but Trump campaign chief Kellyanne Conway "said on ABC’s 'This Week' that the Trump campaign had not invited Flowers to the debate, but she didn’t rule out the possibility of Flowers being in the audience."
NBC's Lester Holt hasn't hosted the "Nightly News" since Tuesday, as he's prepped for moderating the first presidential debate tonight—and the first of his career. He's called on a host of NBC talent to help him, namely NBC News and MSNBC chairman Andy Lack; NBC News president Deborah Turness; the news division's senior vice president of editorial, Janelle Rodriguez; "Nightly News" producer Sam Singal, "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd, senior political editor Mark Murray and political editor Carrie Dann. But during the debate itself, the only person in Holt's earpiece will be longtime debate producer Marty Slutsky.
"The House passed legislation late Thursday that would prohibit the federal government from making any cash payments to Iran, in protest of President Obama's recently discovered decision to pay Iran $1.7 billion in cash in January. And while the White House has said Obama would veto the bill, 16 Democrats joined with Republicans to pass the measure, 254-163."
In contrast to Hillary Clinton's meticulous debate practice sessions, Donald Trump "is largely shunning traditional debate preparations, but has been watching video of…Clinton’s best and worst debate moments, looking for her vulnerabilities.” Trump “has paid only cursory attention to briefing materials. He has refused to use lecterns in mock debate sessions despite the urging of his advisers. He prefers spitballing ideas with his team rather than honing them into crisp, two-minute answers.”