China announced today that it rejects U.S. President Barack Obama’s plan to impose sanctions on countries that purchase Iranian oil, saying the U.S. has no right to take such unilateral punitive measures.
The official announcement from Beijing came one day after the U.S. president announced that there was enough oil in the world market to allow countries to cut off Iranian crude imports, and that he was prepared to now go ahead with sanctioning buyers of Iranian oil.
The decision means that the United States will be in a position to boycott any foreign company or foreign institution that has dealings with Iran and cut them off from the vast U.S. market.
In a statement, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said today: “"The Chinese side always opposes one country unilaterally imposing sanctions against another according to domestic law. Furthermore, it does not accept the unilateral imposition of those sanctions on a third country.”
The Unites States has been working hard to isolate Iran’s Central Bank and its oil exports from the global economy to force Iran to address concerns around its nuclear program.
Last week, the U.S. announced that Japan and 10 European countries will be exempted from the punitive measures as a reward for their efforts to reduce oil imports from Iran.
However, other major importers of Iranian oil, namely Turkey, South Africa, South Korea, China and India, have not received exemptions from the U.S. sanctions, which are set to take effect on June 28.