China vows to keep trade ties with Iran despite US sanctions

China’s Ministry of Commerce pledged Thursday to maintain normal ties with Iran amid a large-scale pull out and boycott of the Iranian market over fear of US economic sanctions.

The announcement made by the Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng comes as a relief for Iranian authorities as foreign companies are massively pulling out of the Iranian market.

China is one of top importers of Iranian oil and non-oil commodities.

Dozens of multinationals and foreign companies are exiting Iran as the country faces new economic sanctions imposed by the United States following US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw his country from the 2015 landmark nuclear agreement signed between the Islamic Republic and world powers.

The US withdrawal implied re-instatement of the economic sanctions slapped on Iran for decades.

French oil group Total and carmaker PSA, US Boeing, Danish shipping group Maersk and several others are on the verge of exiting.

United States-based Nike last week gave in to sanctions threats, and announced on the eve of the FIFA World Cup that it would no longer outfit the Iranian national soccer team.

On similar notes, refiners in South Korea are reviewing their plans to buy Iranian naphtha; a condensate key to the production of petrochemicals used to make a wide range of consumer products, Bloomberg reports.

The purchases, the media notes, are tied to negotiations between Seoul and its ally, Washington.

In the wake of the US withdrawal from the deal, Iranian top diplomat Mohammad Javad Zarif visited Beijing in a move to salvage the agreement.

China and other signatories namely France, Russia, Germany and the United Kingdom have pledged to unite in order to avoid Iran’s exit from the Obama-era accord.

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