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China Rejects US Request to Cut Iran Oil Imports

The US has been unable to persuade China to cut Iranian oil imports, dealing a blow to President Donald Trump’s efforts to isolate the Islamic Republic after his withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear accord.

Beijing has, however, agreed not to ramp up purchases of Iranian crude, Bloomberg reported, citing two officials familiar with the negotiations.

The officials asked not to be identified because discussions with China and other countries continue.

That would ease concerns that China would work to undermine US efforts to isolate the Islamic Republic by purchasing excess oil, Bloomberg said.

Teams of US officials have been visiting capitals around the world to try to choke off sales of Iranian oil by early November, when US sanctions are due to snap back into effect. While the Trump administration has said it wants to cut Iranian oil exports to zero by Nov. 4, most analysts viewed that target as unlikely.

Francis Fannon, the assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of Energy Resources, was recently in China to discuss sanctions, according to a State Department spokesperson.

China’s ministries of Foreign Affairs and Commerce didn’t immediately reply Friday to faxed requests for comment.

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