China Reduces Iranian Oil Imports

Jun 29, 2012

China and Singapore reduce their purchase of crude oil from Iran, the US said today. Had they failed to do so, they would have received sanctions from the US financial markets.

Other major countries to significantly reduce their Iranian oil purchases were India, South Korea, Turkey, South Africa, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Taiwan. The European Union and Japan are still working on reducing purchases from Iran, and were granted a brief extension to come into compliance.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the world’s “cumulative actions are a clear demonstration to Iran’s government that Iran’s continued violation of its international nuclear obligations carries an enormous economic cost.”

China has been a major buyer of Iranian oil, so it is a significant step to see them come into compliance with these sanctions. However it is not entirely due to the international community sanctions, but more to do with a price dispute between Iran and China. As demand falls for Iranian oil, China feels that they can demand better pricing but Iran refuses to discount their oil.

Iran is the second largest oil producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and the government relies heavily on oil revenues. Half of their government income comes from their oil sales. However they are actively pursuing offensive nuclear weapons, so these sanctions will greatly hurt the government’s income as punishment.