The US Department of State is discussing allowing China to import oil from Iran as payment for a Chinese company’s investment in an Iranian oilfield, Politico reported on Wednesday, citing US officials and sources.
The Trump Administration is discussing issuing China a waiver to a 2012 US act on Iranian sanctions that would allow Beijing to import oil from Iran, three US officials told Politico.
The discussions revolve around giving China a waiver to import Iranian oil in exchange for investments that China’s Sinopec has made in an oilfield in Iran.
US administration officials have offered Sinopec to grant a waiver for the repayment in oil in official correspondence between the Chinese company and the US Department of State, a source familiar with the matter told Politico.
The report that the US is mulling over a kind of lenient treatment of Chinese imports of Iranian oil comes days after numerous media reports pointed to China already receiving Iranian oil cargoes despite the US sanctions on Iran’s oil, while the official US position continues to be ‘driving Iran’s oil exports down to zero’.
Now that there are no sanction waivers for Iranian oil buyers, the United States will sanction any imports of crude oil from Iran, the US Special Representative for Iran, Brian Hook, said on Friday, reiterating comments he made last month amid reports that China has already imported its first crude oil cargo from Iran in defiance to the US sanctions.