China, which rapidly increased its secretive oil imports from Iran following the election of Joe Biden, has been warned by the United States that “we will continue to impose sanctions.” Washington has imposed a return to its nuclear negotiations to lift sanctions on Tehran.
The United States has warned China, which has increased oil imports from Iran in recent months, that it would impose sanctions on shipments but signaled loosening sanctions if negotiations begin to return to its nuclear deal.
Joe Biden’s administration has informed Beijing that sanctions resolutions enacted under Donald Trump regarding oil purchases from Iran will continue to be implemented, Britain’s Financial Times (FT) reported, citing a senior US official.
In the United States, Donald Trump’s administration decided to sanction a state-owned energy company and some tanker companies in China in 2019 for violating sanctions against Iranian oil.
The FT quoted some observers as saying that “the Biden administration may not be making a noise to encourage Iran to participate in its nuclear negotiations with China’s increased oil imports,” but the US official denied the possibility and said they would not give an implicit green light.
Meanwhile, the US official added that sanctions could be waived if talks between Washington and Tehran begin promising a return to the nuclear deal.
The U.S. official said they could loosen sanctions if they reached a mutual agreement with Tehran on a return to the nuclear deal, and their ultimate goal was not to impose sanctions but to reverse Iran’s nuclear steps and lift sanctions.
EXPECTED TO GO UP TO 1 MILLION ASSETS PER DAY
“Since Biden’s election, many foreign companies have stopped shying away from sanctions and have received new order signals,” an Iranian petrochemical products sales processor told the FT.
China imported an average of 478,000 barrels of oil per day from Iran in February, which is expected to rise to an average of 1 million barrels per day in March, according to data from energy research firm Kpler.
According to Kpler, Iran has been selling oil to China recently, mainly by making it look like Omani oil.
China exports oil from Iran largely indirectly and secretly, circling sanctions. China is reportedly buying Iranian oil at prices below current market levels.
Reuters reported that Iran’s indirect oil exports to China rose to record levels after Joe Biden won the U.S. presidential election in November 2020. The report, dated March 8, 2021, also stated that talks had begun between Asian countries and Iran in anticipation of the lifting of sanctions.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan will hold their first meeting with their Chinese counterparts today in the US state of Alaska.
Blinken told the U.S. Congress that they would not loosen sanctions until Iran fully complied with the terms of the old nuclear deal or embarked on a negotiated path to fully comply.