China has rejected new US sanctions on Iranian oil imports by other countries saying that Washington has no right to enforce unilateral sanction on other nations according to its domestic law.
"The Chinese side always opposes one country unilaterally imposing sanctions against another according to [its] domestic law. Furthermore it does not accept the unilateral imposition of those sanctions on a third country," China’s Foreign Ministry said in a brief statement on Saturday, Associated Press reported.
On Friday, US President Barack Obama gave the green light for fresh sanctions against foreign banks and other financial institutions by or through which Iran’s oil is purchased. The move would allow the US to take measures against foreign banks that deal with Iranian crude.
New sanctions aim to force major importers of Iranian crude, namely China, South Korea, India, Japan and the European Union, to "significantly reduce" oil imports from Iran or face being frozen out of the US financial system.
The White House insists there’s enough oil in the market to fill the gap caused by a reduction in oil exports from Iran.
"There is a sufficient supply of petroleum and petroleum products from countries other than Iran to permit a significant reduction in the volume of petroleum and petroleum products purchased from Iran by or through foreign financial institutions," Obama said.
Despite US assurances, there are concerns about disruptions in oil supply. The sanctions have already led to a surge in global oil prices. Rising gasoline prices have become a major issue in the US presidential election campaign.
China is one of the biggest importers of Iranian oil, and has so far withstood US pressure to cut oil imports from Iran.