Beijing has called on Washington to cease its arbitrary use of unilateral sanctions and to settle disputes with foreign nations through diplomacy and talks, after the US brought new penalties on both China and Iran.
“Our principled position is clear-cut. We are against unilateral sanctions and the so-called ‘long-arm jurisdiction,’” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said in a press briefing on Monday, responding to a round of sanctions recently imposed on Iran’s metal exports sector, three Chinese companies and a number of senior Iranian officials.
We believe wanton use or threat of sanctions won’t solve any problem.
Geng also urged the US to resolve differences “through dialogue” and in compliance with the UN Charter, instead of through threats and ultimatums, and said Washington must take “concrete steps” to ratchet down tensions with Iran.
The new round of sanctions came days after Iran carried out missile strikes on US bases in Iraq, launched in reprisal for the killing of Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, who was assassinated by an American drone near the Baghdad International Airport on January 3.
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Appearing on Fox News on Monday, US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said American sanctions had so far cut off “over 95 percent of [Iran’s] oil revenues,” adding that Beijing could face sanctions if it didn’t halt its own petrol purchases from the Islamic Republic.
While Beijing steadily decreased its oil purchases from Iran over 2019, it continues to be the top importer of Iranian crude, and recently stepped up efforts to develop Iran’s energy resources as part of a “strategic partnership” deal signed last year, namely by helping to boost output at the massive Azadegan oil field near the Iraqi border.
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