Iran foreign minister on China visit following US sanctions
BEIJING (AP) - China says Iran's foreign minister will visit the country Friday through Saturday, a day after the Trump administration blacklisted virtually all of Iran's financial sector in its final move targeting the oil-rich country's economy Has.
In a brief announcement, the Chinese Foreign Ministry only announced that Foreign Minister Javad Zarif was visiting at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. China has been a staunch Iranian ally and remains a party to the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, which the US pulled back from while unilaterally reintroducing sanctions against Iran.
Thursday's U.S. move hits 18 Iranian banks that have so far escaped most of the re-imposed U.S. sanctions and penalizes foreign, non-Iranian financial institutions for their business. That effectively cuts them off from the international financial system.
The black nation has spoken out against the blacklist because it will open its largest banks and other companies to US penalties for doing business with Iran that was previously allowed.
Zarif reacted angrily to the labels, calling them a "crime against humanity" at a time of global crisis. The move comes because the US stepped up its efforts to kill the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal by steadily increasing the pressure of sanctions on its oil sales, blacklisting senior government officials, and killing a senior general in an air strike.
Almost all of the rest of the world have vowed to ignore recent US sanctions, but violating these sanctions carries a significant risk of losing access to the US financial system.
The Chinese ministry said Indonesia's special envoy to China, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, and Philippine Foreign Minister Teodoro Locsin Jr. were in Beijing at the same time as Zarif. There was no indication that they would meet with Wang as a group.
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