The administration of US President Joe Biden last week targeted seven individuals and four entities based in Iran, China, Russia, and Turkey for what it claimed to be facilitating shipments and financial transactions involving Tehran’s drone technology and military hardware program.
Responding to the hostile move, the Chinese government stressed Washington’s unilateral sanctions disrupted the global trade system and warned that Beijing would take the necessary measures to safeguard its interests.
“China will take the necessary measures to resolutely defend the country’s legitimate rights and interests,” a spokesperson from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said on Tuesday.
“The United States government’s misuse of unilateral sanctions and its application of ‘long-arm jurisdiction’ disrupts the global trade system and regulations, hinders regular economic and trade interactions among countries, and negatively impacts the lawful rights and interests of Chinese companies and individuals.”
A day earlier, the US Bureau of Industry and Security within the US Commerce Department accused another group of eight Chinese entities of “obtaining or attempting to obtain” US drone equipment for Iran.
Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security, Alan Estevez claimed that Washington’s sanctions targeted any individuals or entities serving to aid Russia in its war on Ukraine.
Both Iran and Russia have repeatedly denied claims that Tehran has provided Moscow with drones to be used in the war in Ukraine.
The anti-Iran claims first emerged in July 2022, when US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan alleged that Washington had received “information” indicating that the Islamic Republic was preparing to provide Russia with “up to several hundred drones, including weapons-capable UAVs on an expedited timeline” for use in the war.
In November last year, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian clarified that Tehran had provided Moscow with “a limited number” of drones, but months before the war in Ukraine. He also assured that Iran will not be indifferent if it is proven that Russia has used Iranian drones in the conflict.
Western governments have thus far failed to provide evidence on the use of Iranian drones in the Ukrainian conflict despite slapping illegal sanctions on the Islamic Republic over the unsubstantiated protestation.