0630 GMT September 26, 2022
“The U.S. is an empire of sanctions,” Zhao wrote in a post on his official Twitter account, attaching an image that referred to $200 billion in economic losses incurred by Iran due to the American sanctions, according to Press TV.
The former Iranian government had announced that U.S.-imposed sanctions have cost Iran at least $200 billion in less than two years; $100 billion for lost crude oil revenues and $100 billion of investment money.
The Chinese spokesperson’s comment came nearly a month after he voiced Beijing’s strong opposition to Washington’s “illegal” and “unjustifiable” sanctions as well as its so-called maximum pressure campaign against Iran.
Back then, Zhao had urged the United States to abandon the “wrong practice of resorting to sanctions at every turn” and instead “contribute positively” to the negotiations on resuming compliance with the JCPOA, commonly known as the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
“China has always been firmly opposed to illegal, unjustifiable, and unilateral sanctions and so-called long-arm jurisdiction by the United States,” he told a press conference in Beijing on July 7.
“The international community, including China, has conducted normal cooperation with Iran within the framework of international law. This is reasonable and lawful without harm done to any third party and deserves to be respected and protected,” Zhao added.
After unilaterally withdrawing from the JCPOA in 2018, former U.S. president Donald Trump restored sanctions on Iran as part of what he called the “maximum pressure” campaign against the country. Those sanctions are being enforced to this day by President Joe Biden’s administration even though it has repeatedly acknowledged that the policy has been a total failure.
While the Biden administration has claimed to be ready to return to compliance with the deal, it has taken no practical measures to undo Washington's past wrongs.
Throughout the course of the Vienna talks, Russia and China have supported Iran’s position on the need for the United States to remove all post-JCPOA sanctions and offer assurances that it will not leave the deal again.