China moves to keep buying Iranian oil despite US sanctions: report

China moves to keep buying Iranian oil despite US sanctions: report
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Chinese oil purchasers are moving to continue buying Iranian oil despite reinstated U.S. sanctions against Tehran, according to Reuters

China's biggest refiners have begun to use vessels owned by the National Iranian Tanker Co (NITC) for the bulk of their oil imports, indicating Beijing intends to continue buying Iranian oil despite the sanctions, Reuters reported. 

The U.S. has reimposed sanctions on Iran following President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: I hope voters pay attention to Dem tactics amid Kavanaugh fight South Korea leader: North Korea agrees to take steps toward denuclearization Graham calls handling of Kavanaugh allegations 'a drive-by shooting' MORE's decision to leave former President Obama's 2015 nuclear deal with the nation.

The pact had rolled back sanctions against Tehran in exchange for a reduction in the country's nuclear abilities.  

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The Trump administration has warned that other countries should halt doing business with Iran as the U.S. ramps up a pressure campaign against the Iranian regime. 

Chinese oil traders Zhuhai Zhenrong Corp and Sinopec Group have adapted their policies, allowing them to use NITC tankers, four sources told Reuters.

“The shift started very recently, and it was almost a simultaneous call from both sides,” one source, a Chinese oil executive, told Reuters.

China is Iran's biggest oil customer.

The U.S. and China are in the midst of an escalating trade war, with both countries slapping billions of tariffs on exports from the other. 

And Iran has pushed back aggressively against the U.S. sanction measures, saying they will not effectively topple the Iranian government. Tehran is reportedly attempting to fight back against U.S. sanctions by trying to prevent Saudi Arabia from increasing its oil production.

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoGrassley to administration: You must consult Congress on refugee cap Graham knocks South Korea over summit with North Shrapnel in Yemen strikes links US-made bombs to 63 civilian deaths: report MORE last week announced the creation of an “Iran Action Group” to coordinate the State Department’s policy on Iran after the end of the nuclear deal.

“Our hope is that one day soon we can reach a new agreement with Iran, but we must see major changes in the regime’s behavior, both inside and outside its borders,” Pompeo said. “The Iranian people and the world are demanding that Iran finally act like a normal nation. The Iran Action Group will drive daily progress on these objectives, and I hope do much more.”