China knocks US sanctions on state firm over Iran

The US sanctions came shortly after US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner met Chinese leaders in Beijing.

Shanghai: China has criticised the United
States for imposing sanctions on a state-run oil firm for
exporting petroleum products to Iran, saying the move was
"without reason".

Washington on Thursday slapped sanctions on China`s Zhuhai
Zhenrong Co, barring it from doing business in the United
States, saying it brokered delivery of more than USD 500
million worth of gasoline to Iran from July 2010-January 2011.

"We express strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to
this," foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said in a
statement carried by the official Xinhua news agency

The sanctions, also placed on companies from Singapore and
the United Arab Emirates, bar the three firms from receiving
US export licences, trade support from the US Export Import
Bank, and loans over USD 10 million from US financial

Liu said China`s cooperation with Iran was similar to
other countries.

"Like many other countries, China maintains normal
cooperation with Iran in energy, economic and trade fields,"
he said, adding that the US had acted unilaterally to impose
the sanctions.

"This is without reason, and against the content and
spirit of resolutions by the United Nations Security Council
on the Iran nuclear issue."

Chinese state media quoted the company as dismissing the
US claims as "fiction", with an official saying the firm
doesn`t export refined oil to Iran.

The US sanctions came shortly after US Treasury Secretary
Timothy Geithner met Chinese leaders in Beijing to ask for
help in squeezing Iran`s key oil revenues and pushing Tehran
to halt its nuclear ambitions.

But China, long an important buyer of Iranian oil, has
resisted adding its weight to the US and European campaign.
Chinese officials have warned against making links between
China`s trade relations with Iran and the issue of Tehran`s
nuclear programme.


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