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China Lashes Out at US Over Iran Oil   04/23 06:39

   BEIJING (AP) -- Beijing on Tuesday again lashed out at a U.S. decision to 
impose sanctions on countries that buy Iranian oil, calling it a violation of 
China's interests that will intensify turmoil in the Middle East and 
international energy markets.

   Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the U.S. is operating outside 
its jurisdiction in unilaterally imposing the sanctions. He said normal 
interactions between Iran and other countries are "reasonable and lawful" and 
deserving of respect and protection.

   "The relevant actions of the U.S. will also intensify the turmoil in the 
Middle East and international energy market," Geng said.

   "We urge the U.S. to play a constructive role in a responsible manner, 
instead of the other way around. In addition, we have already made complaints 
with the U.S. on this matter," he said.

   Geng said China will work to safeguard its companies' interests, reflecting 
its desire to secure foreign markets as it pursues its massive "Belt-and-Road" 
infrastructure initiative.

   China is one of Iran's biggest oil markets and was a strong backer of the 
agreement to lift sanctions in return for Iran curbing its nuclear weapons 
program that was scrapped by President Donald Trump.

   The Trump administration said Monday that it will no longer exempt any 
countries from U.S. sanctions if they continue to buy Iranian oil, stepping up 
pressure on Iran in a move that primarily affects the five remaining major 
importers.

   Along with India and U.S. treaty allies Japan, South Korea and Turkey, China 
was one of the countries primarily affected by the announcement.

   Oil prices soared to their highest level since October on Tuesday. 

   The sanctions could potentially remove up to 1.2 million barrels of oil per 
day from international markets, according to industry experts. However, that 
number will likely be lower, depending on how countries respond and just how 
much oil Iran continues to export. 


(KA)

 
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