China, a major buyer of Iran's oil, has reiterated its opposition to the US House of Representatives’ go-ahead for the imposition of tougher sanctions against Iran’s economy.
"China has long advocated resolution [of Iran's nuclear issue] through dialog and negotiations and opposes unilateral sanctions from one nation based on its domestic laws," Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Friday.
"In particular, it opposes sanctions that will hurt the interests of a third party," it added.
The US House on Wednesday approved a bill to slap tougher sanctions on Iran’s oil exports and other economic sectors.
The bill, which must be approved by the Senate and signed by President Barack Obama to become law, seeks to cut Iran's oil exports by one million barrels per day over a year.
It also blacklists any business in Iran's automotive, mining and construction sectors and commits the United States to the goal of ending all Iranian oil sales worldwide by 2015.
As a permanent member of the UN Security Council and Iran’s top oil customer, China has consistently insisted on diplomacy on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear issue and opposed unilateral sanctions imposed by the US and European Union on Tehran.
The US, Israel and some of their allies falsely claim that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program, with Washington and the European Union using the unfounded allegation as a pretext to impose illegal sanctions on Iran.
Tehran strongly rejects the groundless claim over its nuclear energy activities, maintaining that as a committed signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.