Vietnam laments U.S. decision to sanction firm over Iran trade

December 18, 2020 - 19:32

TEHRAN — Vietnam has voiced regrets about the United States’ imposition of sanctions on a Vietnamese firm over its trade relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

“Trade relations between Vietnam and Iran are strictly civilian and involve goods that would serve the essential needs of people and are not in contrary to the resolutions of the UN,” Vietnamese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang told a daily press briefing on Thursday.

It came a day after U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on a number of global companies, accusing them of supporting the sale of Iranian petrochemicals as Washington increases pressure on Tehran in the closing days of President Donald Trump’s term.

The U.S. Treasury said Vietnam Gas and Chemicals Transportation Corporation was targeted over its connection with significant transactions for the transport of petroleum products from Iran.

Hang said Vietnam fully observed United Nations resolutions and handled any violations accordingly.

She added that Vietnam hoped the United States would remove the sanctions on the company.

The United States on Wednesday also imposed sanctions on companies based in China and the United Arab Emirates.

Since assuming office in January 2017, outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump has pursued confrontational policies against Iran. He withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) in May 2018 and imposed the “toughest ever” economic sanctions in history on Iran. 

Trump’s Iran policy has been described by observers as an abject failure.

Meanwhile, President-elect Joe Biden has voiced support for the JCPOA, saying his administration will rejoin the deal. Biden served as vice president in the Barack Obama administration, under which the nuclear deal was reached.

Biden has said he hopes to return the U.S. to the deal, but he has also indicated he would like to expand it.

Meanwhile, President Hassan Rouhani has said his administration is “not excited” about Biden’s victory, but it’s happy about Trump’s defeat.

“Some say you are excited about Biden’s coming [into power]. No, we’re no excited, but we’re very happy about Trump’s leaving,” Rouhani said at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

He described Trump as a person who even blocked the provision of vaccines to patients because he did not adhere to any moral and humane principles.