China rejects US demand to cut Iranian oil imports

  • China rejects US demand to cut Iranian oil imports

China rejects US demand to cut Iranian oil imports

China has rejected a demand by the United States to cut Iranian oil imports, according to Bloomberg news agency, which cited two officials familiar with the negotiations.

Washington chose to reimpose sanctions on Iran upon its withdrawal, accusing it of posing a security threat, and has told countries they must halt all imports of Iranian oil from November 4 or face U.S. financial measures.

Repeating the pattern of past weeks, crude prices on Friday ended the week down by 0.4 percent for West Texas Intermediate and 1.5 percent for Brent, this time in reaction to China state oil major Sinopec cutting its purchases of us product due to the trade spat between both countries.

Trump's policies are already putting significant pressure on the Iranian economy, although USA intelligence suggests they may ultimately rally Iranians against the United States and strengthen Iran's hardline rulers, officials say.

In May, Trump controversially pulled America out of the nuclear deal Obama agreed with Iran in 2015.

Iranian protesters have attacked a religious school in Karaj province near Tehran, the Fars news agency reported on Saturday, as sporadic protests simmered ahead of the reimposition of United States sanctions.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has warned the US against any attempt to stop Tehran's oil trade, threatening to block the strategically important Strait of Hormuz.

"The Americans say they want to reduce Iranian oil exports to zero ..."

The three European signatories to the nuclear deal, the United Kingdom, France and Germany agreed with China and Russian Federation last month to continue to support Iran through the reimposition of U.S. sanctions.

"It's a jittery feel here, as long as we have Iranian sanctions uncertainty and tariff uncertainty, and it doesn't take much to spark a significant swing one way or the other", said Jim Ritterbusch, an analyst in Galena, Illinois.

Also last month, China, which is Iran's biggest customer, said it did not accept unilateral sanctions against Iran.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said: "China and Iran unwaveringly maintain normal trade and economic ties".

The official confirmed that during July delegations would be dispatched to Beijing and Delhi to press home the case, having already visited the capitals of other major Iranian oil importers.

On Wednesday, U.S. officials told reporters the naval fleet of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is planning to use 100 gunboats in the Persian Gulf to practice "swarm" tactics, an exercise that is usually reserved for the fall.

Last month around 35 percent of Iranian oil exports went to China.