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China to Continue ’Fair, Lawful’ Business with Iran despite US Sanction Threats

Saturday 11 August 2018
China to Continue ’Fair, Lawful’ Business with Iran despite US Sanction Threats

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Alwaght - China has rejected Donald Trump’s threats to block all business trading with Iran from accessing the US market, saying its business and energy ties with the Islamic Republic do not harm the interests of any other country.

China has already defended its commercial relations with Iran as open and transparent as US sanctions on Iran took effect despite pleas from Washington’s allies.

In a statement released late on Friday, China’s foreign ministry reiterated its opposition to unilateral sanctions and “long-armed jurisdiction”.

 “For a long time, China and Iran have had open, transparent and normal commercial cooperation in the fields of business, trade and energy, which is reasonable, fair and lawful,” it said.

“This does not violate United Nations Security Council resolutions or China’s promised international obligations, nor does it harm the interests of any other country, and should be respected and protected,” the ministry added.

Using sanctions at the slightest pretext or to threaten anyone won’t resolve the problem, it said.

“Only dialogue and negotiations are the true path to resolving the issue,” the ministry added.

Under the administration of President Donald Trump, the US has taken an increasingly hostile approach toward Iran.

On May 8, Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from a 2015 multilateral nuclear deal with Iran over the objections of Europe as well as Russia and China — the other parties to the deal, which is officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The withdrawal entailed not only the re-imposition of sanctions on Iran but also the so-called secondary sanctions on third countries. Some of those sanctions took effect after a 90-day wind-down period ending on August 6, and the rest after a 180-day wind-down period ending on November 4.

Nations including Russia and China have nevertheless rejected President Trump’s threats and have signaled their intention to continue trading with Iran.

China, Iran’s top oil customer, buys roughly 650,000 barrels a day of crude oil from Tehran, or 7 percent of China’s total crude oil imports. At current market rates, the imports are worth some $15 billion a year.

State energy firms CNPC and Sinopec have invested billions of dollars in key Iranian oil fields such as Yadavaran and North Azadegan and have been sending oil to China.

 

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