China’s Iranian crude imports remain in US firing line [RT]
June 13, 2012 Leave a comment
Washington has granted waivers to sanctions on Iranian oil imports to several countries, leaving China the only major oil importer subject to US penalties. Chinese oil giant Sinopec announced it will not raise imports in an effort to allay sanctions.
The US government added India, South Korea and four more nations to the list of countries exempt from the sanctions on Monday.
Ten EU nations and Japan were granted waivers in March to US financial penalties.
The US considers that these countries have made a considerable effort to lower imports of Iranian crude with a view to stifling the Islamic Republic’s lucrative oil industry and curtailing its nuclear program.
US supporters of the sanctions against Iran say China has been receiving clandestine cargoes of Iranian oil which have had their tracking signals disabled.
Iran maintains that its nuclear research program is purely for civilian purposes, but the US and Israel insist the country is in the process of developing atomic weapons.
A new set of heavy sanctions may be introduced on June 28 by the US aimed at putting further pressure on Iran.
“By reducing Iran’s oil sales, we are sending a decisive message to Iran’s leaders: until they take concrete actions to satisfy the concerns of the international community, they will continue to face increasing isolation and pressure,” said US state secretary Hilary Clinton in a press release on Monday.