China Rejects US Request to Cut Iran Oil Imports: Report
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The US has been unable to persuade China to cut Iranian oil imports, according to two officials familiar with the negotiations, dealing a blow to US President Donald Trump’s efforts to isolate the Islamic Republic after his withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear accord.
Beijing has, however, agreed not to ramp up purchases of Iranian crude, according to the officials, who asked not to be identified because discussions with China and other countries continue, Bloomberg reported on Friday.
Teams of US officials have been visiting capitals around the world to try to choke off sales of Iranian oil by early November, when US sanctions are due to snap back into effect. While the Trump administration has said it wants to cut Iranian oil exports to zero by Nov. 4, most analysts viewed that target as unlikely.
Francis Fannon, the assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of Energy Resources, was recently in China to discuss sanctions, according to a State Department spokesperson.
China’s ministries of Foreign Affairs and Commerce did not immediately reply Friday to fax requests for comment.
China -- the world’s top crude buyer and Iran’s No. 1 customer -- has said previously that it opposed unilateral sanctions and lifted monthly oil imports from the country by 26 percent in July. It accounted for 35 percent the Iranian exports last month, according to ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg.