Thursday Oct 31, 201307:23 PM GMT
China defies US-engineered oil embargoes on Iran
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei
Sat Jun 30, 2012 7:16AM
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  • China is always against one country's unilateral sanctions on another country, according to its domestic law. It is even less acceptable for such unilateral sanctions to be imposed on a third country.”
  • Hong Lei, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman
China has once again reiterated its strong opposition to the US-engineered unilateral oil embargoes against Iran, describing its oil imports from the Islamic Republic as “legitimate and justified.”


"China is always against one country's unilateral sanctions on another country, according to its domestic law. It is even less acceptable for such unilateral sanctions to be imposed on a third country," said Hong Lei, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, on Friday.

The remarks by Hong come a day after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the US’ decision to exempt China from Washington’s unilateral sanctions on oil trade with Tehran, falsely claiming that Beijing had reduced oil purchases from Iran.

The allegation by the US official came despite the fact that China, which is one of the largest crude importers from Iran, actually increased its oil purchases from the Islamic Republic by 34.5 percent in May in comparison with the previous months, according to China’s customs data.

The US administration in late March approved new sanctions on the Iranian crude oil sector, which aim to penalize other countries for buying or selling the Iranian oil. The sanctions were scheduled to take effect on June 28.

On January 23, under pressure from the United States, the European Union foreign ministers also approved new sanctions against Tehran. The sanctions will come into force as of July 1.

Hong emphasized that China will go on with importing the Iranian oil through normal channels to meet its economic development demands, adding that crude purchase from Iran “is completely legitimate and justified”.

"This does not violate any UN Security Council resolutions or undermine the interests of a third party or the international community," said Hong.

The sanctions by the US and EU aim to put pressure on the Islamic Republic over its nuclear energy program, which Washington, Israel and some of their allies claim includes a military aspect.

Iran dismisses such allegations, arguing that, as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it has the right to use the nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

YH/HJL/AZ
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