July 29 (UPI) -- Frustrated by U.S. sanctions on crude oil, Iran has turned to gasoline and natural gas exports to boost its economy.
Iran's refining capacity has grown as the country becomes more energy independent. Previously, the United States put sanctions on Iran's gasoline imports but they were lifted when the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was signed in 2015 under the Obama administration.
Earlier this year, Iran said it expects to export gasoline to Iraq, Afghanistan and several countries along the Caspian Sea coast.
Iran also announced the completion of the Iran-Pakistan pipeline project, also called the Peace Pipeline, within its borders. Pakistan halted the natural gas pipeline citing sanctions.
Pakistan needs Iranian natural gas to feed its power plants.
"Gas is the most important energy of the world in the future and Iran possesses the world's largest gas fields," Iranian first Vice-President Eshagh Jahangiri told the Chinese delegation Monday. "And we are ready to export gas to China through Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline."
Jahangiri said U.S. sanctions undermine security in the region and "Iran's foreign policy is based on supporting multilateralism and confronting American hegemony."
Song Tao, head of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, said "Beijing's resolve to maintain friendly relations with Tehran will not change."
He called on all parties of the nuclear deal to fully implement their commitments under the deal.
"Beijing calls on signatories to the JCPOA to solve their differences through dialogue and political solutions," Tao said. "If all parties adhere to their commitments we can stand against U.S. unilateralism."