China Friday urged Iran to reconsider its threats after the powerful Revolutionary Guards suggested that the Islamic Republic could hamper navigation in the Strait of Hormuz, which is critical to China’s vital oil and gas imports.
Thursday, Mohammad Ali Jafari, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp reportedly indicated that his forces could block sea traffic in the strait in response to the US aggressive campaign aiming at isolating Iran and drying out its money resources.
The threat, if implemented, will disrupt oil shipments coming from Gulf countries. The majority of China’s oil imports is shipped through the Strait that links Middle East crude producers to key markets in Asia Pacific, Europe, North America and other parts of the world.
The threat sent bad signals to Beijing. Friday the Chinese foreign ministry called on Iran to put peace above confrontation and to privilege good neighborhood behavior.
“China consistently believes that the relevant country should do more to benefit peace and stability in the region, and jointly protect peace and stability there,” said Assistant Foreign Minister Chen Xiaodong.
US President Donald Trump after walking away in May from the 2015 nuclear accord signed with Iran and world powers is seeking a thorough isolation of Teheran. Trump has urged oil producing allies to increase their production to make up for the shortage of the Iranian oil on the international market. He also called on other allies importers of Iranian oil to stop imports by November 4.
Last week, China’s ministry of trade stressed that the second global economy will maintain trade ties with Tehran despite call by the Trump administration.
China, which is also signatory of the nuclear accord, has been cooperating with other pact parties namely Russia, France, Britain and Germany to salvage the agreement Trump chided saying it is full of flaws.