Chinese envoy blames the U.S. for Persian Gulf tensions

August 24, 2019 - 20:48

TEHRAN – Chinese Ambassador to Tehran Chang Hua has said the main reason behind tensions in the Persian Gulf is Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear agreement.

“The U.S. government, with imposing unilateral sanctions against Iran and with its excessive demands and bullying measures, interferes in Iran’s cooperation with other countries, including China,” Chang said in an interview with ISNA published on Saturday.

He further voiced China’s opposition to such measures, emphasizing that other countries are not allowed to interfere in Iran-China relations.

Beijing has largely defied Washington sanctions on Iran by continuing to import oil from the country even after the administration of President Donald Trump ended exemptions given to China for buying Iran’s crude in May. The Asian nation is one of the few remaining buyers of Iranian barrels, after other countries such as South Korea and Japan halted flows.

Asked to comment on the U.S. effort to form a coalition in the Persian Gulf, the Chinese envoy said his country only wants peace in the region.

“China has always paid attention to the situation in the Persian Gulf, and the Chinese side has always wanted peace and reduced tensions in this region,” Chang said.

“Therefore, we ask the sides not to take measures that are likely to heighten tensions and try to reduce the tensions,” the ambassador suggested.

The United States has announced plans to form a coalition to supposedly protect shipping in the Strait of Hormuz following a series of mysterious attacks on oil tankers in the strait and the Sea of Oman.

Washington has accused Iran of having a hand in those attacks without presenting a shred of evidence. Iran has strongly rejected the claim. Tehran has warned that such acts of sabotage may be part of a general ploy to target Iran amid increasing regional tensions.

The U.S. has asked its allies to join the coalition, a call which has not been warmly received by several countries, including Germany, Japan and Spain, over apparent fears that such a mission could further ratchet up tensions with Iran.


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