China continues 'fair and lawful' business in Iran, despite US sanctions

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Iran's foreign minister has said the United States will not be able to prevent the country from exporting oil.

"The Americans have never acted with sincerity, and Trump's move and remarks were merely a publicity stunt".

China, Iran's top oil customer, buys roughly 650,000 barrels a day of crude oil from Tehran, or 7 percent of China's total crude oil imports.

Rouhani did not specify what consequences the United States could face, but in the past Iranian officials have threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, a major shipping route in the Middle East, in retaliation for any USA actions.

The top Iranian diplomat said the Americans need to be answerable to the Iranian people in numerous cases, adding that given the deep distrust the United States has caused over the past decades, the Iranians can hardly find a reason to talk to them.

President Rouhani shot back at Trump via Twitter Tuesday night, suggesting Iran would continue trading with the "EU, Russia, China & dozens of our other trading partners". "Imagine the unlikely option of negotiating now, how can the U.S. be trusted that after reaching an agreement they will remain committed to their very own agreement?" he said.

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During his meeting with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho in Tehran on Wednesday, Rouhani warned him that U.S. was "an unreliable and untrustworthy" negotiating partner that did not honour "any of its commitments".

"It's good for the country, good for them, good for us and good for the world".

Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton told Fox News that the USA policy "is not regime change, but we definitely want to put maximum pressure on the government".

The Commander-in-Chief's stark warning comes on the heels of his administration's decision to re-impose tough penalties on the Islamic Republic just months after the USA withdrew from the botched nuclear agreement.

But, despite Mr Trump's advice to stop dealing with Iran, member states of the European Union look set to defy the sanctions, putting them on a collision course with Washington once again.

On Wednesday, China's foreign ministry said it opposed the US' "unilateral sanctions" and "long-armed jurisdiction", adding its business ties with Iran were "open, transparent and lawful".

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Despite opposing claims from the United States and Israel, researchers from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) maintain that Iran continues to abide by its commitment in the deal.

"The world today is not willing to implement the U.S. sanctions and several countries, including key ones, are striving to counter the sanctions and our own economic sector will be active in this regard too", he added. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall.

"We are always in favor of diplomacy and talks".

In a White House statement announcing the sanctions, Trump repeated his criticisms of the deal, and argued that Iran's behavior since the pact was implemented has vindicated his long-held position.

"Negotiations with sanctions don't make sense".

Trump tweeted on Tuesday: "These are the most biting sanctions ever imposed, and in November they ratchet up to yet another level".

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