China said on Saturday it is determined to bolster economic relations with Iran regardless of third-party countries’ internal rules.
“China will continue economic and trade ties with Iran”, Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng told IRNA, adding that US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal will have no effect on economic relations between the two countries.
“China is against economic unilateralism of US or any other country and their domestic regulations are not important for China,” he said.
“We are against US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and Washington's possible unilateral sanctions against Tehran,” Gao pointed out.
He said promoting economic relations between Iran and China does not run counter to international regulations and both countries will continue their ties.
US President Donald Trump announced on May 8 that Washington was walking away from the nuclear agreement, which was reached between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China – plus Germany.
Trump also said he would reinstate US nuclear sanctions on Iran and impose "the highest level" of economic bans on the Islamic Republic.
Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran.
Since the US president pulled Washington out of the historic nuclear deal, European countries have been scrambling to ensure that Iran gets enough economic benefits to persuade it to stay in the deal. The remaining parties have vowed to stay in the accord.
Gao said the value of Iran-China trade stood at about $37.3 billion in 2017 which showed a 19.3-percent growth compared to the same period in 2016.
He added that China is Iran’s first trade partner, adding that both countries have preserved their relations in one decade in such a way that China is the biggest buyer of Iranian crude oil and customer of Iran's non-oil commodities.