China refuses U.S. order to reduce oil imports from Iran

Ann Santiago
August 5, 2018

U.S. officials are now travelling the world in a dramatic effort to stop other countries from buying Iranian oil.

Iran has been furious over U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of an worldwide agreement on Iran's nuclear program and re-impose sanctions on Tehran. "If the Iranians demonstrate a commitment to make fundamental changes in how they treat their own people, reduce (what he called) their malign behavior, can agree that it's worthwhile to enter into a nuclear agreement that actually prevents proliferation, then the president said he's prepared to sit down and have the conversation with them".

"China always holds the view that JCPOA is a multilateral deal which is verified and approved by the United Nations Security Council and accords the common interests of all parties and the worldwide community, which must be respected and safeguarded so as to maintain the authority of the United Nations, the effectiveness of multilateral deals and the credibility of the global rules", he was quoted by the official Xinhua News Agency as saying.

"Iran will survive this round of USA sanctions as it has survived them before", Rouhani said, describing them as a "crime and aggression".

China's stand of rejecting U.S.' demand is a blow to President Donald Trump's efforts to isolate the Islamic Republic after his withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear accord.

Trump made that much known in a Twitter post days ago during a joint White House news conference with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

The Trump administration argued that the nuclear deal, which lifted some economic sanctions in exchange for restrictions on Tehran's nuclear program, was fatally flawed because it didn't address the country's destabilizing behavior or limit its development of ballistic missiles, among other things.

In a statement, Captain Bill Urban, the military's Central Command spokesman, said the U.S. was "aware of an increase" in Iranian naval operations in the Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman.

The United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Russian Federation - the other signatories to the JCPOA - have criticized America's decision to quit the deal.

Iran has been furious over U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of an worldwide nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on Tehran.

Also last month, China, which is Iran's biggest customer, said it did not accept unilateral sanctions against Iran.

Last month, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei backed President Hassan Rouhani's suggestion that Iran may block Gulf oil exports if its own exports are stopped.

Other oil producing countries, led by Saudi Arabia, have vowed to increase production to cover the loss of Iranian oil.

Last month around 35 percent of Iranian oil exports went to China.

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