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China protests U.S. Iran sanctions for penalizing Chinese firms

By Elizabeth Shim
China protests U.S. Iran sanctions for penalizing Chinese firms
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said on Monday the Chinese government lodged a formal protest regarding the inclusion of Chinese companies on the latest U.S. Iran sanctions list. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 6 (UPI) -- China is protesting a U.S. decision to include Chinese individuals and entities on its Iran sanctions list.

Beijing's foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters on Monday the Chinese government has lodged a protest regarding the "latest U.S. sanctions against Iran that affect Chinese companies and individuals."

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Describing the sanctions as a "unilateral" measure, Lu said the "sanctions will not help in enhancing trust among the different parties involved and will not help in resolving international problems," The South China Morning Post reported.

Last Friday, the U.S. Treasury Department imposed new sanctions against Iran in response to a ballistic missile test.

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The list includes two Chinese firms, the Ningbo New Century Import and Export Company and the Qingdao Cosailing Business Trading Company, businesses that are suspected of aiding Iran's weapons program, South Korean news service Newsis reported.

But according to the Post, Qingdao Cosailing executive Yue Yaodong said he never engaged in full transactions with Iranian buyers.

Yue said his company sent product samples to Iran but no deals were made.

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"I don't know what my company has done that would lead to U.S. sanctions," Yue said. "I don't have a way out but to close the company. I don't think it's useful to raise a complaint."

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Sanctioned firms are prohibited from access to U.S. banks. Third-party entities that deal with blacklisted firms also face penalties.

China is critical of the latest Iran sanctions, and state-owned Xinhua said the embargoes would result in tensions between Washington and Tehran.

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Beijing played an intermediary role in the 2015 nuclear deal between the United States and Iran.

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