Washington is prepared to slap sanctions on all countries that continue buying oil from Iran after the November deadline, including China, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing the new US special representative for Iran, Brian Hook.
“The United States certainly hopes for full compliance by all nations in terms of not risking the threat of US secondary sanctions if they continue with those transactions,” Hook said.
He added, however, that the US would issue waivers from sanctions to countries that have made efforts to reduce their purchases of Iranian oil.
China, who is a major buyer of Iranian oil, has so far resisted Washington’s demand to end its purchase of Iranian crude arguing that the country’s cooperation with Tehran does not harm anyone else’s interests and, therefore, should be exempted from US sanctions.
Earlier this month, China’s Foreign Ministry said that Beijing’s commercial ties with Iran were “reasonable and fully in line with pertinent resolutions by the UN Security Council.”
In July a senior US official was quoted by the Wall Street Journal as saying that Washington though it highly likely that China would even increase its purchases of Iranian oil once the US sanctions are re-imposed in full.
In May the US announced that it was pulling out of the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran and said it would reinstate the sanctions that had been lifted under the accord.
Almost immediately after, Germany, France and the UK — all of them also parties to the Iran deal — reaffirmed their intention to stay in the agreement.
Russia and China have also repeatedly defended the deal.