The main topic of the past week is US sanctions against Iran.

On Monday, President Donald Trump decided not to extend the exemption from oil sanctions against Iran, which expires in May. In addition, the United States, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have agreed to take measures to maintain supply in the oil market. American sanctions against Iranian oil began to operate on November 4, 2018: you can not buy it, for violation of this secondary sanctions are threatened. The US allowed to continue to buy oil from Iran, but not to increase purchases under contracts to eight importing countries: China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy and Greece. As US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, China, India and six other countries should stop buying Iranian oil completely in early May. According to him, the introduction of sanctions against Iran already reduced the country's annual income from oil sales from $ 50 billion to $ 10 billion. Not all countries have met this decision unequivocally.

China made a claim to the United States because of the decision not to extend the exemption from the sanctions on the purchase of Iranian oil, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Gen Shuang. “US actions are leading to increased tensions in the Middle East and instability in the international energy market. We urge the United States to show responsibility, to play a constructive role, and not vice versa. The Chinese side has already made a US representation in this regard,”said Geng Shuang. China strongly opposes unilateral US sanctions. “The cooperation of the entire international community, including China and Iran under international law, is absolutely legitimate. It must be respected and defended”, the Chinese diplomat said. China urged the United States to take into account the legitimate interests of the Chinese side, not to take erroneous actions that undermine the interests of China. “We will defend the legitimate interests of Chinese companies with all our strength,” said Gen Shuang. Meanwhile, the Chinese company Unipec - a trading subsidiary of the Chinese state petrochemical corporation Sinopec - will receive oil from the United States after a break in supply.

The reaction of Iran was also not long in coming. Iran will take the necessary steps in response to the decision of US President Donald Trump not to make exceptions to Iranian "oil sanctions," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “The decision is irrelevant,” the statement said. - The Iranian Foreign Ministry is in contact with its foreign partners. The results of these consultations will be taken into account. A corresponding firm decision will be made on this issue. ” In addition, Admiral Alireza Tangsiri, commander of the Navy Corps of the Revolutionary Guards, said: “If we are prevented from using the Strait of Hormuz, we will close it. In the event of any threat, we will have no doubt to protect and safeguard the waters of Iran. We will defend our prestige and take retaliatory measures when necessary to protect the rights of Iran. ” A little later, the commander of the Iranian Navy, Admiral Hossein Khanadi, announced that Iran’s cooperation with China in the northern part of the Indian Ocean would expand and it would accelerate the exit of non-regional powers from this region.

Meanwhile, high-ranking US officials said that US attempts to reduce oil exports in Iran to zero occur during a period when the level of supply in the market is quite sufficient. Accordingly, there should be no serious price hikes. “So far, Iran exports about 1 million barrels of oil per day. But the level of supply in the market is high enough to abandon Iranian oil and, at the same time, maintain price stability”, said Brian Hook, US plenipotentiary representative in Iran.

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