Riled up Pompeo slams Iran-China deal, threatens with sanctions
The US administration, riled up by a potential long-term strategic partnership between Iran and China, has threatened to slap the same unilateral sanctions already imposed on Tehran against Beijing in case the deal was finalized.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo censured in an interview with Fox News on Sunday the potential Tehran-Beijing cooperation pact and said Washington would apply all Iran’s sanctions also to the "Chinese Communist Party and their businesses and state-owned enterprises" if the deal was signed.
Pompeo also claimed that the 25-year trade deal between Iran and China would foment instability in the West Asia region, once again leveling false accusations that Tehran is a “state sponsor of terror,” among other protestations.
"China’s entry into Iran will destabilize the Middle East. It will put Israel at risk. It will put the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Emirates at risk as well,” he said, also claiming that Iran’s “access to weapons systems and commerce and money flowing from the Chinese Communist Party only compounds that risk for that region."
Iran and China are hammering out a long-term strategic partnership that paves the way for cooperation in a variety of areas, amid deteriorating relations between Beijing and Washington over a host of issues.
The potential deal will see China invest around $400 billion in Iran’s energy and infrastructure sectors over a period of 25 years. In return, Iran would guarantee a stable supply of key energy products to the Chinese side. The agreement also entails some specific terms on expansion of security and military cooperation between the two countries.
China, a top oil consumer, has been a top buyer of Iran’s crude and even after US-driven international sanctions targeted Tehran’s energy sector, China continued its cooperation with Iran by purchasing oil and developing energy projects.
Tension between Washington and Tehran entered a new phase when in May 2018, US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew his country from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal clinched by the Islamic Republic and six world powers, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Following its withdrawal, Washington targeted the Iranian nation with the “toughest ever” economic sanctions.
The US administration is currently ramping up efforts to kill the JCPOA completely through pushing the remaining parties to the multilateral agreement to extend a UN arms embargo on Tehran.