U.S. Senator Katie Britt, R-Ala., during a recent hearing of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs highlighted how current American sanctions against Iran have failed to stop its commerce with China, which continues to buy Iranian oil and aid the development of Iran’s nuclear missile program.
Questioning Biden Administration officials from the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Department of Commerce, Senator Britt pointed to evidence that clearly shows that despite American sanctions, Iranian oil is being exported to China at record levels, Chinese firms are providing critical assistance in Iran’s efforts to develop nuclear weapons, and Chinese companies are providing surveillance technology as Iran monitors and censors its own people.
“These two countries have long worked together, with China purchasing Iranian oil and Iran buying Chinese goods. China is perhaps the biggest partner for Iran in evading sanctions,” Senator Britt said.
During her questioning, Senator Britt pointed to the fact that while elevated sanctions are in place, Iran has experienced an increase in oil exports. Specifically, she asked if sanctions were being levied and enforced against Chinese ports that are the recipients of Iranian oil. Biden Administration officials repeatedly avoided answering the question directly.
“At a time when China is our greatest geopolitical threat, I believe we must do more to stop them from aiding enemies such as Iran. What we are seeing is Iran circumventing American sanctions in close coordination with China. This is not only incredibly concerning, it is a major national security threat. The Biden Administration should be focused on using the tools available to enforce these sanctions and hold China accountable.”