Jan 14, 2020 06:24 UTC
  • China slams Washington's 'arbitrary' sanctions on Iran

China has criticized what it calls "arbitrary sanctions" Washington imposed on Iran after the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) launched retaliatory missile strikes on the US' Ain al-Assad base in Iraq.

Speaking in a press briefing on Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang expressed Beijing's "clear-cut" opposition to Washington's unilateral sanctions.

"We believe wanton use or threat of sanctions won't solve any problem. We hold that purposes and principles of the UN Charter and basic norms governing international relations should be complied with in state-to-state relations," he noted.

His comments came after the Trump administration hit senior officials and the manufacturing and metals sectors in Iran with new sanctions in reaction to Iran's retaliatory missile strikes against the Ain al-Assad base in Iraq.

The sanctions were announced by Steven Mnuchin, the US Treasury secretary, and Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, in a press conference at the White House on Friday.

The new bans also hit a Chinese trading company, a Chinese shipping vessel and an Oman-based supplier for facilitating and engaging in business with the Iranian metals sector.

The Treasury secretary said the sanctions would not only ban US businesses from transactions with those Iranian targets, but would also be “secondary” in nature, meaning entities from third countries would also be prevented from doing business with those targets.

In his Monday press briefing, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman urged "the US to cease immediately the wrongful sanctions on Chinese businesses."

"We will continue to staunchly defend Chinese enterprises' legitimate rights and interests," he noted.

He also called on the US to respect the lawful and justified cooperation between Tehran and Beijing.