US Says to Impose Secondary Sanctions on China over Iran Oil Imports

US Says to Impose Secondary Sanctions on China over Iran Oil Imports

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The new US special representative for Iran said the Trump administration is prepared to impose sanctions on all countries that buy oil from Iran after a deadline in November, including China, the top importer of Iranian crude.

Brian Hook, who has been appointed as special representative and chief of a new “Iran Action Group” at the State Department, said on Thursday the US would issue waivers from sanctions to countries that have made efforts to reduce their Iranian oil purchases, Wall Street Journal reported.

India and South Korea are among Iran’s top oil customers. Both countries already have started to scale back imports and are hoping to obtain waivers to buy more time to replace Iranian crude.

But China repeatedly has said it has no plans to comply with a wave of US sanctions that are due to be reimposed on Iran’s energy sector on Nov. 4.

In a response to a question about China’s plan to continue importing Iranian oil at a State Department briefing on Thursday, Mr. Hook refused to rule out imposing secondary sanctions on Beijing as punishment.

“The United States certainly hopes for full compliance by all nations in terms of not risking the threat of US secondary sanctions if they continue with those transactions,” Hook said when asked about the Iran Action Group’s plan for dealing with China.

China, which imports over one-quarter of Iran’s oil, repeatedly has said that trade with Iran, across a range of economic and energy sectors, is lawful and that it doesn’t plan to reduce imports.

“China always believes that reckless imposition of sanctions or threatening to use them will not help solve the issues,” China’s foreign affairs ministry said in a statement last week.

“We are prepared to impose secondary sanctions on other governments that continue this sort of trade with Iran,” Hook said.

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