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Merkel to sway China against Iran

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Despite Beijing’s outright refusal to join the EU and US-sponsored unilateral sanctions on Iran’s oil industry, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has arranged a visit to China to convince the country to reduce Iranian oil import.

A German government source told a news briefing on Tuesday that “It is in German interests that China does not raise its imports [from Iran]. It would be good if China would reduce its imports.”

According to the source, Merkel will begin her trip to China on Wednesday.

This comes while China has criticized the European Union’s new unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic, considering them as blind pressure and unconstructive.

“To blindly pressure and impose sanctions on Iran are not constructive approaches,” the Chinese foreign ministry said on January 26 in reaction to the measures adopted by the EU over Iran’s nuclear program.

US President Barack Obama signed into law new sanctions against Iran which seek to penalize other countries for importing Iran’s oil or doing transactions with the country’s central bank. The European Union also approved new sanctions against Iran’s oil and financial sectors on January 23, which will cut off crude oil imports from Iran on July 1.

The United States, Israel and their European allies accuse Tehran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear program and have used this pretext to impose four rounds of international and a series of unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Iran has refuted the allegations, arguing that as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Tehran is entitled to use nuclear technology for peaceful use.


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