China says its business ties with Iran lawful, transparent

TEHRAN, Aug. 08 (MNA) – Two days after Trump administration reinstated US unilateral sanctions on Iran, Chinese foreign ministry rejected Trump’s call for not doing business with Iran.

China’s business ties with Iran are open, transparent and lawful, Chinese foreign ministry announced on Wednesday, according to Reuters.

The announcement came after US President Donald Trump said companies doing business with Iran would be barred from the United States. It is a two days after the first batch of US unilateral sanctions were reinstated against Iran following Trump's pullout from the landmark Iran-Sextet nuclear deal in early May 2018.

Meanwhile, EU governing body in a joint statement read out by foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Monday, said an updated Blocking Statute enters into force on 7 August to protect EU companies doing business with Iran from US extra-territorial sanctions.

Mogherini and the E3 foreign ministers expressed deep regret over the re-imposition of sanctions by the US, and stressed their firm resolve to keep financial channels with Iran open.

Iran dismissed a last-minute offer from the Trump administration for talks, saying it could not negotiate while Washington had reneged on a 2015 deal to lift sanctions in return for curbs on Iran’s nuclear program.

Trump decided this year to pull out of the agreement, ignoring pleas from the other world powers that had co-sponsored the deal, including Washington’s main European allies, Britain, France and Germany, as well as Russia and China.

Beijing has cultivated close commercial links with Tehran, especially in the energy sector.

“China has consistently opposed unilateral sanctions and long-armed jurisdiction,” the Chinese foreign ministry said in a faxed statement to Reuters, responding to questions on the new US sanctions and Trump’s threats on firms doing business with Iran.

“China’s commercial cooperation with Iran is open and transparent, reasonable, fair and lawful, not violating any United Nations Security Council resolutions,” it added.

“China’s lawful rights should be protected.”

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.

European countries, hoping to persuade Tehran to continue to respect the nuclear deal, have promised to try to lessen the blow of sanctions and to urge their firms not to pull out.

YNG

News Code 136551

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