by WorldTribune Staff, March 2, 2022
As the international price for crude benchmark Brent soars, China is purchasing oil at discount prices from Iran on a daily basis — and violating U.S. sanctions in the process.
And the communist regime in Beijing is doing so without fear of reprisals from Team Biden, observers say.
China’s imports of Iranian oil have increased by the month, traders and ship-tracking firms told Reuters. It has reached a point where China now buys more oil from Iran than it did before sanctions were imposed on the top state sponsor of terrorism’s energy sector.
Chinese importers exceeded 700,000 barrels per day for January, according to estimates by three tanker trackers, which exceeded the 623,000 bpd peak recorded by Chinese customs in 2017 before former President Donald Trump reimposed sanctions in 2018 on Iranian oil exports.
“Chinese imports of Iranian crude continued to skyrocket this year despite the sanctions that, if enforced, would allow Washington to cut off those who violate them from the U.S. economy,” Zero Hedge noted. “But the U.S. president is unlikely to wake up from his afternoon nap or refuse to be disturbed while eating ice cream and do anything to punish China for violating the terms of the embargo.”
Consulting firm Petro-Logistics, which tracks oil flows, said Iran’s total crude exports soared in December to over 1 million bpd, the highest in three years.
“Iran’s oil exports are mostly going to China, often through convoluted routes and transshipments, with small volumes going to Syria each month,” said Petro-Logistics CEO Daniel Gerber.
Team Biden also is not likely to enforce sanctions on Iran’s energy sector during continuing negotiations to restore the 2015 nuclear deal.
On Feb. 25, a senior U.S. State Department official told the Wall Street Journal that there were only days left to close the remaining differences between Iran and the U.S. for a deal.
“Final decisions have to be taken this week — either we have a deal or we do not,” an official from one of the European countries at the Iran nuclear talks in Vienna said Monday. “The context of the current international crisis means the window of opportunity is closing.”
Meanwhile, Zero Hedge noted, “it appears the U.S. will punish countries who violate its sanctions, though it won’t dare touch China as it is too afraid of what an escalation could look like.”
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