China criticizes U.S. sanctions over Iranian oil deals

China sanctions

China demands that Washington eliminates sanctions imposed on Chinese companies and executives for transporting Iranian oil.

The measures, announced on Wednesday by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, hit six companies and their directors, including some of the country’s most influential state companies.

China criticizes “long-arm jurisdiction”

China’s ministry of foreign affairs criticized the sanctions imposed by the United States sanctions on specific Chinese companies and individuals accused of transporting Iranian oil, violating U.S. sanctions on Tehran.

China expresses strong indignation and firm opposition to U.S. sanctions against Chinese companies and individuals,” foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Thursday. “China firmly opposes unilateral sanctions and the so-called long-arm jurisdiction and its arbitrary oppression of Chinese companies,” he added.

During his official press briefing on Thursday, the official stated that “China maintains normal cooperation with the Gulf states, including in the field of energy. Our cooperation under the framework of international law is legitimate and legal, and thus should be respected and protected.”

He assured that the United States has been implementing these sanctions without a justifiable reason.

He also said that Washington’s actions are against the basic norms governing international relations and added that these measures are contrary to the trends of our times.

“We strongly urge the United States to correct these irregularities at once. China has taken and will continue to take the measures necessary to uphold its energy security and the legal rights and interests of Chinese businesses,” he added.

Sanctions against China

The United States announced on Wednesday sanctions to Chinese companies for purchases of Iranian oil, increasing the pressure despite Europe’s attempts to organize a meeting between Washington and Tehran.

While speaking to a group of nations opposing the Iranian regime on the sidelines of the UN Summit, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the actions taken were a response of unilateral violations of U.S. sanctions against Iran.

“We say to China and to all nations: "know that we will punish any violation of the sanctions of any activity”. With these words, Pompeo addressed the group United Against a Nuclear Iran.

Pompeo clarified they were imposing these sanctions on the companies and their managing directors.

He added that the United States was also seeking to split the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Escalation of sanctions

The most recent sanctions come after the drone strike on Saudi Arabian oil facilities on September 14. The United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany blame Tehran for these attacks, which Iran categorically denies.

A rebel Houthi group that has been fighting against a coalition led by Saudi Arabia in Yemen claimed the attacks.

The tensions grow

On Wednesday, Iran’s Minister of Defense dismissed the idea of negotiating with world powers regarding the country’s missile program.

Official news site IRNA quoted General Amir Hatami as saying that any deal with the United States on “missile power” in Iran would limit the country’s capabilities. He said that all Iranian leaders support the improvement of the missile program.

On the other hand, the leader of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard General Hossein Salami said on Wednesday that Iran had shown restraint despite the capabilities of its armed forces, including its missile program. The statements were quoted by semi-official news agency Tasnim.

The case of the Stena Impero

British flagged oil tanker Stena Impero is still detained in Iran, despite the fact that Tehran has been cleared to leave, Swedish company Stena Bulk, owner of the ship, said on Wednesday.

Stena Bulk CEO Erik Hanell said he was not in negotiations with Iran and had no knowledge of any official charges against the ship’s crew.

Hanell added the ship was fueled and ready to sail to a port in the United Arab Emirates as soon as the news of its release became known.

For more information, check Energía16

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