China Purchasing Iranian Oil
Some officials seeking sanctions
In defiance of U.S. sanctions, China is purchasing Iranian oil and providing what Tehran hopes will be a financial lifeline for that nation’s dwindling economy. Reports are that they imported more than a million barrels of crude from Iran last month alone.
Now, senior Trump administration officials are grappling with whether—and how—to respond to China.
The State Department considered issuing a waiver allowing Chinese companies to receive Iranian oil as payment in kind for their investment in an Iranian oil field, but that idea has been abandoned.
The Trump administration has been pushing to reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero as part of its policy of “maximum pressure” on Tehran amid the worsening standoff over Iran’s nuclear program. It has had some success in persuading several of Iran’s largest consumers — India, Japan, South Korea and Turkey — to curb their purchases.
Any sanctions the U.S. would put on China would complicate trade talks between the two nations, further straining the relationship.
- For President Trump, Secretary Pompeo and administration advisers to weigh carefully all aspects of imposing sanctions on China.
About the level of economic distress Iran is under as a result of sanctions upon it, and whether that is why they are becoming more aggressive toward foreign tankers in the Straits of Hormuz.