The International Energy Agency (IEA) says China has bought an additional 200,000 barrels per day of Iran’s oil in recent months.
Didier Houssin, IEA director of energy markets and security, said on Tuesday that Beijing is the world’s second-biggest crude consumer and may continue to increase oil imports from Iran.
“China has been buying more crude and may continue to do so,” he said at the International Petroleum Week conference.
Earlier this month, the IEA predicted that China’s purchases of Iranian crude would slow in the first three months of the year.
This comes while the IEA’s latest report predicts that China’s oil demand would rise by about 4 percent this year to 9.9 million barrels a day.
The increase in Beijing’s oil purchase from Tehran comes despite the recent Iran’s oil embargo imposed by the European Union.
In January, the European Union imposed unilateral sanctions against Tehran, banning member states from importing Iran’s oil as of July 2012.
China has rejected the calls from the United States and its Western allies to stop buying oil from Iran, saying it will continue its legitimate economic ties with Tehran despite the US-engineered sanctions.
The US and its Western allies are putting more pressure on Iran by imposing sanctions as they accuse Tehran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear program.
However, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has never found any evidence indicating that Tehran’s civilian nuclear program has been diverted towards nuclear weapons production.
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