18:49 GMT08 August 2020
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    Chinese imports of Iranian oil dropped nearly 60% in June compared to the previous year after the US reinstated its sanctions against the Islamic Republic in May.

    Iranian Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri has urged its leading economic partner China and other Iranian allies to purchase more Iranian crude, the oil ministry news website SHANA reported on Monday.

    "Even though we are aware that allies such as China are facing some restrictions, we expect them to be more active in buying Iranian oil", Jahangiri told visiting senior Chinese diplomat Song Tao as quoted by the news agency.

    The official noted that the US is trying to create an impression that it can bring Iranian oil sales to zero, which would lead to the collapse of the country's economy, but fortunately, despite a year under a US oil embargo the economic situation in Iran is stable.

    Growing US Economic Pressure on Iran

    US-Iranian ties hit a new low after US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew his country from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2018.

    Washington has subsequently put almost all major economic sectors of Iran under sanctions vowing to drive Iranian oil exports to zero and demanding that other countries cease any oil purchases from Iran. The White House also announced the decision not to reissue waivers on Iranian oil after their expiry. 

    On Sunday, signatories to the JCPOA met in Vienna for an emergency meeting, during which the Chinese delegation head reiterated China's commitment to the deal, and condemned the US hard line against Iran, saying that all signatories have expressed their rejection of the unilateral US sanctions and particularly oppose the extraterritorial use of the sanctions.


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