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21 Feb, 2012 15:36

China poised to profit from Iran’s predicament

Iran is struggling to find buyers for its oil in South-East Asia. Under pressure from Western sanctions, the Islamic Republic has been pinning its hopes on increased sales to China.

China, the major consumer of Iranian oil, has reduced its purchases to the lowest level during last five months. According to Business Week, Beijing reduced Iranian oil imports by 14%, while the total amount of China’s oil imports rose by 6.8 %. Experts note that China has always kept political rivalries out of its business dealings and it is going to take full advantage of sanctions imposed on Iran by the West. The actual situation with Iran has strengthened China's negotiating position, while Iranian options on the global market are quite limited. Thus, China has a good chance to pay less.And it is not the first time Beijing has imposed its conditions to business partners and exerted pressure to lower prices.“Showing who is in charge, China turned away several times from Iran to Saudi Arabia for supply. The same with Russia with payments, repeatedly underpaying and even refusing to pay for oil received,” says RT correspondent Daniel Bushel.