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    This Nov. 17, 2007, file photo, shows a portion of the Tehran oil refinery, in Tehran, Iran

    China Rejects US Policy on Stopping Iranian Oil Exports - Foreign Ministry

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    VIENNA (Sputnik) - China does not support US policy on eliminating Iran's oil exports, the director-general of the Department of Arms Control at the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Friday.

    "China rejects unilateral sanctions, and energy security is very important for us. Oil import is very important for the Chinese energy security and for the Chinese people. I repeat, we do not support US policy on bringing Iran's oil exports to zero," Fu Cong told reporters when asked if Beijing would continue buying oil from Iran.

    Iran has confirmed at a meeting of the joint commission on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in Vienna that it remained committed to the deal, Fu said.

    "This is very important, and we support this position. Other participants agreed that we should give Iran economic benefits that the JCPOA presupposes," the Chinese official added.

    According to the Chinese diplomat, the European Union said at the meeting that it had finalized INSTEX —a special mechanism for trade with Iran bypassing US sanctions.

    The move comes after the US imposed new sanctions on Iran last week, citing the Islamic Republic’s “hostile conduct”. The sanctions specifically targeted Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and those “close to him” in a bid to cut them off from any financial sources, as well as eight senior members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

    The US-Iranian ties have been tense since Trump announced Washington’s withdrawal from the Iran deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), on 8 May 2018, when the US president also signalled the US’ readiness to reinstate anti-Iranian sanctions.

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