China slams US plan to stop waivers for Iran oil imports
China has slammed US plans to tell it and other countries to stop buying Iranian oil or face sanctions, saying Beijing's cooperation with Tehran is in accordance with law.
According to Press TV, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang told a daily news briefing in Beijing on Monday "China has always opposed the US imposition of so-called 'unilateral sanctions' and 'long-arm jurisdiction'."
China's dealing with Iran is "reasonable and legitimate, which thus deserves respect," he added.
US officials have said the Trump administration is poised to terminate sanctions waivers it granted to some importers of Iranian oil, including China and India late last year.
The Washington Post cited unnamed State Department officials as saying that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would announce the decision on Monday.
He would say "that as of May 2, the State Department will no longer grant sanctions waivers to any country that is currently importing Iranian crude or condensate," the paper wrote.
Officials in Asia opposed the expected move, citing tight market conditions and high fuel prices that are harming industry.
Global benchmark Brent crude oil futures rose by as much as 3.2 percent to $74.30 a barrel, the highest since November 1, in early Asian trading on Monday in reaction to expectations of tightening supply.
President Donald Trump administration left a multi-lateral nuclear agreement with Iran last May. Afterwards, Washington reimposed the sanctions that had been lifted under the accord.
Last November, the US enforced sanctions targeting the Islamic Republic’s banking and energy sector. However, it granted waivers to eight major importers of the Iranian oil, including China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy and Greece, fearing market instability.