China joins EU and Turkey in dismissal of US Iran sanctions

China joins EU and Turkey in dismissal of US Iran sanctions

09/08/18

Anuttama Banerji, Business and Policy Intern

China has stated its intent to continue trading with Iran despite US sanctions introduced on Tuesday.

According to Reuters, China’s foreign ministry said in a statement that Beijing “has consistently opposed unilateral sanctions and long-armed jurisdiction.”

It added, “China’s commercial cooperation with Iran is open and transparent, reasonable, fair and lawful, not violating any United Nations Security Council resolutions.”

“China’s lawful rights should be protected,” the ministry said.

China’s position mirrors that of the European Union, which also opposed the US decision. The Times reported Federica Mogherini, the EU’s foreign policy representative, as saying, “we are doing our best to keep the deal… because we believe this is in the security interests of  not only our region, but also the world.”

The EU has reportedly warned companies that they could in turn be censured by the bloc if they quit Iran over the sanctions, CNBC reports. Turkey has also outlined its intention to continue buying gas from Iran.

China has forged an increasingly important relationship with Iran’s energy sector in recent years. Asia House research published in April showed Iran’s bilateral trade with China grew by more than US$20 billion between 2009 and 2014, while Reuters reports that China buys roughly 650,000 barrels a day of crude oil from Tehran, or 7 percent of China’s total crude oil imports.

The US implemented the sanctions on Tuesday because of Washington’s concerns over Tehran’s influence on regional security. According to CNN, the sanctions target the country’s automotive sector and the Iranian purchase of US dollar notes.

The Wall Street Journal reports US officials as saying that far stronger sanctions could be imposed on Iran this November if US concerns are not abated.