China, Germany defend Iran business ties against Trump threats

China, Germany defend Iran business ties against Trump threats

Mubasher: As US President Donald Trump threatened any companies trading with Iran with being cut from the US-dominated global financial system, Germany and China defended their business relations with Tehran.

“China’s commercial cooperation with Iran is open and transparent, reasonable, fair and lawful, not violating any United Nations Security Council resolutions,” China’s Foreign Ministry told Reuters on Wednesday via a faxed statement, reiterating its opposition to “unilateral sanctions and long-armed jurisdiction.”

The extraterritorial sanctions against Tehran violate international law, the German government said, asking the White House to put European interests into consideration, when deciding such sanctions.

The US administration withdrew from the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, re-instating thereby the sanctions against Tehran.

The re-imposed US sanctions, which came into effect on Tuesday, would target Iran’s purchases of US dollars, metals, industrial software in addition to the country’s auto and carpet industries.

In an attempt to convince Iran to continue to respect the deal, European leaders pledged to ensure to lessen the impact of sanctions, urging firms in the continent to keep their businesses in the country.

However, companies, including France’s oil company Total and Renault, and Germany’s Daimler, suspended their investment plans in Iran. Danish engineering firm Haldor Topsoe also announced 200 layoffs from its workforce of 2,700 on the back of US sanctions.

However, Turkey said that it would continue to buy gas from Iran.

After the sanctions entered into effect, US President Trump warned any company or institution from conducting business, lest it would face fines and being barred from the global financial system.