US Looking to Pressure China into Foregoing Iran Oil Imports

The US Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley said the Biden administration will increase pressure on China to cease imports of Iranian oil as the US tries to enforce nuclear sanctions.
“China is the main destination of illicit exports by Iran,” and talks to dissuade Beijing from the purchases are “going to be intensified,” Malley said in a Bloomberg Television interview Monday.
The US will “take steps that we need to take in order to stop the export of Iranian oil and deter countries from buying it,” Malley added. “We have not lessened any of our sanctions against Iran and in particular regards to Iran’s sale of oil.”
Former US President Donald Trump left the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May 2018 and reimposed the anti-Iran sanctions that the deal had lifted. Tehran’s oil exports have been limited since then. He also placed additional sanctions on Iran under other pretexts not related to the nuclear case as part of his “maximum pressure” campaign.
Following a year of strategic patience, Iran resorted to its legal rights under the JCPOA, which grants a party the right to suspend its contractual commitments in case of non-compliance by other signatories and let go of some of the restrictions imposed on its nuclear energy program.
Malley’s remarks came as Reuters in a report announced that Iranian oil exports hit new highs in the last two months of 2022 and are making a strong start to 2023 despite US sanctions, according to companies that track the flows, on higher shipments to China and Venezuela.

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