Officials said the administration of President Barack Obama has relayed
several warnings to Beijing over the last three months. In September, a
State Department delegation led by Robert Einhorn briefed the Chinese
government on companies and banks that allegedly trade with Iran in
violation of UN sanctions, Middle East Newsline reported.
"Most of the objectionable [Chinese] exports were in the field of
missiles, with a few to Iran's nuclear program," the official said.
The U.S. intelligence community has identified Chinese companies that
exported a range of restricted material used in Iran's nuclear program. One
Chinese company was said to have supplied Iran with such material as
maraging steel and aluminum alloys in a deal that went through U.S. banks.
"China now is the only country with a major oil and gas industry that's
prepared to deal with Iran," a U.S. official told the Washington Post.
"Everyone else has pulled out. They stand alone."
The Obama administration has not ruled out imposing sanctions on Chinese
companies. Under the administration of Obama's successor, George W. Bush,
Washington announced 62 sanctions, most of them regarding trade with Iran.
Officials said some of the Chinese exports to Iran were financed by
Chinese banks. They said the deals were not hampered by UN sanctions on Iran
"We did provide some information to China on specific concerns about
individual Chinese companies, and the Chinese assured us that they will
investigate," State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said.