BEIJING (AP) – China says Iran’s foreign minister will visit the country from Friday to Saturday, a day after the Trump administration blacklisted virtually all of Iran’s financial sector in the latest step aimed at the oil-rich country’s economy.
In a brief announcement, China’s foreign ministry said only that Foreign Minister Javad Zarif was visiting at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. China has been a staunch Iranian ally and remains a party to the 2015 Iranian nuclear agreement from which the U.S. has withdrawn while unilaterally reinstituting punishing sanctions on Iran.
Thursday’s U.S. move hits 18 Iranian banks that had thus far escaped the bulk of reimposed U.S. sanctions and subjects foreign, non-Iranian financial institutions to penalties for doing business with them. That effectively cuts them off from the international financial system.
The blacklisting has been opposed by European nations because it will open up their biggest banks and and other companies to U.S. penalties for