US sanctions against Iran will also apply to China if it signs $400 bn trade deal, says US Secretary of State

Washington: US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, warned that if China signed the USD 400 billion agreement with Iran, all the sanctions applicable to Iran would also become relevant to China. Sanctions will be imposed against the Chinese Communist Party and companies connected with it. Pompeo also alleged that the China-Iran agreement would create instability in the Gulf.

US sanctions

Last month, Iranian Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif announced trade cooperation worth USD 400 billion with China. Zarif had said that this agreement would be for 25 years and the deal will be signed as soon as the Iranian parliament clears it. The Iranian Foreign Minister had claimed that Iran would benefit on both trade and military levels with this cooperation. Secretary of State Pompeo criticised this agreement while talking to a US news channel.

US sanctions

Pompeo said that the cooperation developing between regimes of two countries, who do not respect democracy and freedom and are a threat to the security of other countries in the region, is not surprising. But the US Secretary of State clarified that the United States would not tolerate this agreement. Pompeo reminded of the sanctions imposed on Iran for this purpose. The US Secretary of State criticised that the deal is a blatant violation of the sanctions imposed by the United States against Iran. Pompeo pointed out that therefore if the USD 400 billion agreement is signed, all the sanctions imposed by the United States against Iran will become applicable to China. Pompeo clarified that the Chinese Communist Party members and companies cooperating with Iran would be brought under the ambit of sanctions. At the same time, Pompeo said that the Gulf countries should carefully assess the agreement between Iran and China. Chinese investment in Iran could destabilise the Gulf. It could pose a threat to Israel’s security. Pompeo added that the security of Saudi and UAE also would be under threat following this agreement.

Pompeo pointed out that Iran is the biggest sponsor of terrorism in the world. Under this cooperation, Iran could get advanced weapon systems from China. In that scenario, the security of the region will be under a bigger threat. The US Secretary of State appealed that therefore, the Gulf countries should oppose this Iran-China agreement. In the past, think tanks from the United States had expressed concerns over this agreement. Under this agreement, China will take over an Iranian island in the Persian Gulf. The think tanks had warned that this would pose a threat to the US interests in the Indian Ocean and challenge its maritime supremacy.

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