Feb 10 2012
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China not to cut all oil imports from Iran
"The imports may be decreased, but they will not be stopped completely,' Hermidas-Bavand told Trend.
He was commenting on China's recent cut purchases of Iranian oil by around 285,000 barrels per day (bpd) - just over half of the total daily amount it imported in 2011.
China needs a pressure tool for the U.S., which can be used if necessary," he added. "With this in mind, China cannot afford to lose Iran now."
Last year, China imported 27.76 million tons, or about 555,000 bpd, of Iranian crude, a record amount and a 30 percent increase on the previous year.
American Enterprise Institute Research Fellow Ali Alfoneh holds the same opinion, saying that China would not completely stop oil imports from Iran, and there is a reason to it.
"China has indeed reduced its oil imports from Iran while increasing its oil imports from Saudi Arabia. On the one hand, this tactic may give the impression that the Chinese leadership is accommodating demands of the United States and its European allies," Alfoneh told Trend.
"However, the fact that China has not stopped its oil imports from Iran completely may be an indication of China using the reduced oil import as a bargaining tool to demand more concessions from Iran," he added.
Alfoneh noted that in future China may force the Iranian leadership to export oil to China in exchange for import of Chinese goods rather than foreign currency, which would be another heavy blow to Iran's finances.
© Trend News Agency 2012
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