Aug 17, 2018 16:05 Asia/Tehran [Updated: May 14, 2019 21:40 Asia/Tehran]
  • U.S. signals China could face sanctions over buying Iranian oil

The United States says it will impose sanctions on all countries that continue to buy Iranian crude oil , including China.

Iran PressThe announcement was made on Thursday by Brian Hook, the head of US State Department's newly-established Iran Action Group, after he was asked by reporters about the group’s plan for dealing with China, The Wall Street Journal  reported.

“The United States certainly hopes for full compliance by all nations in terms of not risking the threat of US secondary sanctions if they continue with those transactions,” he said.

“We are prepared to impose secondary sanctions on other governments that continue this sort of trade with Iran,” Hook noted.

He said the US would issue waivers from sanctions only to countries that had made efforts to reduce their oil purchases from Iran.

Back in May, the US withdrew from a 2015 multilateral nuclear agreement with Iran and said it would re-introduce the sanctions that had been lifted under the accord.

Washington reinstated a series of unilateral sanctions against Iran in early August and would re-impose a second batch in November which would primarily be meant to undermine Tehran’s oil exports.

Beijing, Iran’s top oil customer has thus far been defiant to Washington's call to stop buying Iranian oil, saying commercial cooperation between the two sides did not harm other countries' interests and therefore had to be protected from sanctions.

In a statement earlier this month, China’s Foreign Ministry said Beijing's business ties with Tehran were "reasonable" and did not breach UN resolutions.

Earlier on Jun 10,2018 ,Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Chinese President Xi Jinping in their meeting on the sidelines of the SCO summit in the Chinese port city of Qingdao also exchanged views on issues of mutual interests and the avenues of bilateral cooperation as well as the case of the JCPOA- aka the Iran nuclear deal- which both Iran and China are signatory states of.

Chinese Ambassador to the UN Ma Zhaoxu also described the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) as an important multilateral achievement and a success story in addressing hot-spot issues through diplomatic means.

"The JCPOA had proven to be an effective agreement over three years", Chinese Ambassador to the UN added.

Zhaoxu  called upon all parties to take a responsible attitude, consider the long term, commit to dialogue, and cooperate with patience in order to preserve the accord's authority.

China would continue to participate in the procurement working group, as it has consistently advocated resolution of the issue through diplomatic means, and would maintain dialogue with all parties concerned in implementing the JCPOA, Chinese Ambassador to the UN concluded.

On May 8, U.S. President Donald Trump decided to quit the landmark nuclear deal and vowed to reimpose sanctions, including oil embargo, on Tehran, triggering global criticism.

Following the US exit, Iran and the remaining parties launched talks to save the accord.

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