#Mideast: United States Warns China Against Buying Iranian Crude Oil

The United States of America has again warned China that it will not turn a blind eye to rising Iranian oil exports to Chinese ports, the Financial Times reported

The report, citing a senior Biden administration official says Washington has not missed the substantial increase in Iranian crude shipments to China. 

U.S reminded Beijing that there are still sanctions in place against the Islamic republic of Iran. “We’ve told the Chinese that we will continue to enforce our sanctions,” the unnamed official told the FT. “There will be no tacit green light.”

Yet the Trump-era sanctions may be waived if Iran and the U.S. make it to the negotiation table. “Ultimately, our goal is not to enforce the sanctions; it is to get to the point where we lift sanctions and Iran reverses its nuclear steps,” the official told the FT.

The Asia leader and the second largest economy has been ramping up shipments of crude from Iran  from an average of 306,000 bpd last year. 

This month, China has been taking in some 856,000 bpd of Iranian crude—a 129-percent rise over February. The China’s interest in Iranian oil has been based on a comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries. The initiative expects trade between the two countries to reach $600 billion over the next decade

In addition, China’s Belt and Road initiative (BRI) attempts to strengthen regional political, economic, and strategic ties, with a focus on the energy industry. But Iranian oil is also attractive for a very simple reason: Iran is selling it at a deep discount because of the sanctions. 

According to The low price makes Iranian crude attractive for other Asian buyers too, such as India, which has been on the hunt for alternatives to Middle Eastern OPEC oil because of its high price.

As regarding the President Donald Trump Era sanctions that are still in effective which Iran tagged economic terrorism against the Islamic Republic, Tehran has insisted that the Wasington first lift sanctions before negotiations on the nuclear deal start while the U.S. wants negotiations first, sanction-lifting later.

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