China defends Iran business ties after Trump threat

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Ri was also quoted as describing the sanctions against Iran as "inappropriate and contrary to worldwide standards".

"China's commercial cooperation with Iran is open and transparent, reasonable, fair and lawful, not violating any United Nations Security Council resolutions", it added.

"They can not think that Iran won't export oil and others will export.".

In November, a second batch of potentially more damaging sanctions will be reinstated on Iran's port operators, and the energy, shipping, and shipbuilding sectors.

The European Union has also unveiled a "blocking statute" meant to mitigate the impact of the USA sanctions on European firms doing legitimate business with Iran.

China, Iran's top oil customer, buys roughly 650,000 barrels a day of crude oil from Tehran, or 7 percent of China's total crude oil imports. At current market rates, the imports are worth some $15 billion a year.

With natural gas accounting for almost 40 percent of Turkey's electricity production, Donmez said that Turkey would continue this trade, as "we can't possibly leave our citizens in [the] dark". Turkey buys an estimated 9.5bn cubic metres of gas from Iran.

European countries, hoping to persuade Tehran to continue to respect the nuclear deal, have promised to try to lessen the blow of sanctions and to urge their firms not to pull out.

Oil prices steady on falling U.S. crude stocks, Iran sanctions
However, despite EU's move, German vehicle and truck maker Daimler said it has dropped its plan to expand its operations in Iran. Some 19 million and 4.8 million barrels per day of oil pass through the Straits of Hormuz and Bab el-Mandeb , respectively.

The reimposition of USA sanctions followed Trump's decision earlier this year to pull out of a 2015 deal to lift the punitive measures in return for curbs on Iran's nuclear program created to prevent it from building an atomic bomb.

Despite opposing claims from the USA and Israel, researchers from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) maintain that Iran continues to abide by its commitment in the deal.

Tuesday evening on his nationally syndicated radio show, LevinTV host Mark Levin interviewed national security adviser John Bolton about the Trump administration's decision to impose further sanctions on the terrorist regime that rules Iran.

Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton told Fox News that the USA policy "is not regime change, but we definitely want to put maximum pressure on the government".

The United States will not be able to prevent Iran from exporting oil, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was cited as saying by an Iranian newspaper on Wednesday.

"NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE", Trump wrote.

However, a senior United States official said it was "not particularly concerned" by the move because many major firms had already announced they were pulling out of Iran.

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