US concerned about China’s continued purchase of oil from Iran
A senior US official has expressed deep regret about China’s refusal to obey Washington's sanctions on Iran, saying his country is “very concerned” about Beijing’s purchases of the Iranian oil.
Dan Brouillette, deputy secretary of the US Department of Energy, said on Monday that both entities and the government in China had continued to take deliveries of Iran oil despite American sanctions that seek to cut such imports to zero.
“We are very concerned about the purchases that the Chinese people have made, the government in particular,” said Brouillette while speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an energy conference in the United Arab Emirates.
He added that Washington would raise the issue with Chinese officials although he stopped short of warning China about any consequences of ignoring sanctions on Iran.
China, Iran’s traditional top buyer of oil, has largely ignored US sanctions on Tehran since they were enacted in November and then toughened in May.
Recurrent reports have suggested that China has continued to import oil from Iran regardless of the sanctions. Iran has also indicated that it would exhaust any channel possible, including unconventional methods, to continue to sell oil to major buyers like China.
Beijing has on several occasions criticized a US decision last year to withdraw from a major international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program.
Hua Chunying, spokesperson of Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry said on Monday the US strategy of exerting "maximum pressure" on Iran is the root cause of the ongoing tensions over Tehran’s nuclear program, urging Washington to end its wrong practices.
"The US should abandon wrong practices, such as unilateral sanctions and maximum pressure on Iran," Hua told reporters in Beijing.