China selling fuel to Iran may undermine US efforts to shut off fuel supply

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London, Sep.23 (ANI): Attempts by the United States to shut off fuel supply to Iran may be undermined by Chinese state companies who are reportedly supplying gasoline to that country since early September, the Financial Times reports.

The sales come in spite of moves over the past year by international companies, including BP and Reliance of India, to stop selling gasoline to Teheran, and highlight the difficulties of implementing sanctions aimed at curbing Iran's nuclear ambitions.

The paper reports that the Chinese gasoline fills in the gap left by the withdrawal of such long-standing suppliers.

On Wednesday, according to the Jerusalem Post, foreign ministers from several countries are meeting in New York to discuss how to convince Iran to curtail its nuclear program, which Teheran insists is not meant to produce nuclear weapons.

The White House said Tuesday said that President Barack Obama met with Chinese president Hu Jintao and had been "forceful" in calling for more cooperation from China over the Iranian issue.

Oil traders said that Chinese-state owned oil companies were selling the petrol through intermediaries. The sales are legal as fuel imports are not at present included in sanctions against the country.

A Chinese official in Washington is quoted by the Times as saying "Chinese enterprises conduct normal trade relations with Iran, strictly speaking within the relevant UN resolutions. (ANI)

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