China has dismissed a US request to cut oil imports from Iran, urging Washington to end its unilateral sanctions and lift its so-called ‘long-arm jurisdiction’ over third-party entities.
Speaking at a regular press briefing on Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said Beijing firmly opposes any unilateral sanctions and urged the US to lift the so-called long-arm jurisdiction over third-party entities and individuals.
The remarks came in reaction to media reports citing US and European officials on Tuesday that the US has urged China's cutting of crude oil imports from Iran.
Reuters reported that China's imports of Iranian crude oil were among the issues raised by US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman during her visit to China at the end of July.
In reaction, Hua stressed that Beijing’s position on China-Iran economic and trade cooperation is consistent and clear, and cooperation has always been conducted within the framework of international law.
China and Iran have always conducted cooperation based on the principles of equality and mutual benefit, win-win cooperation and commercialization, Hua added.
In a clear violation of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which is endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231, the US refuses to remove the anti-Iran sanctions it reimposed against Tehran following its withdrawal from the deal in 2018.
The sanctions had been lifted against Tehran as part of the deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in response to limitations on Iran’s nuclear program.
The US under Donald Trump quit the deal, accusing Iran of non-compliance despite several reports by the UN nuclear agency confirming Tehran’s commitment to its obligations.
Iran remained fully committed to the JCPOA for an entire year after the US departure, but it began to scale back its contractual obligations in response to Washington’s violations and sanctions as well as the Europeans’ failure to live up to their commitments and shield business with Iran.
US President Joe Biden has expressed a willingness to rejoin the deal but no concrete measure has been taken so far on the part of the US. Iran says the US, as the first and only party to have officially left the deal, needs to end sanctions in a verifiable way as the first step to pave the way for a return to the JCPOA.