China chides Iran over threat to block oil exports through Strait of Hormuz

The Strait of Hormuz plays a key role. (Reuters)
Updated 07 July 2018
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China chides Iran over threat to block oil exports through Strait of Hormuz

  • Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait are among China’s most important oil suppliers, so any blockage of the strait would have serious consequences for its economy

BEIJING: Iran should make more effort to ensure stability in the Middle East and get along with its neighbors, a senior Chinese diplomat said on Friday, as Iran’s Revolutionary Guards warned they may block oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz.

Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait are among China’s most important oil suppliers, so any blockage of the strait would have serious consequences for its economy.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and some senior military commanders have threatened to disrupt oil shipments from the Gulf countries if Washington tries to strangle Tehran’s oil exports.

Carrying one-third of the world’s seaborne oil every day, the Strait of Hormuz links Middle East crude producers to key markets in Asia Pacific, Europe, North America and beyond.

Asked about the Iranian threat to the strait, Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Chen Xiaodong said that China and Arab countries had close communications about Middle East peace, including the Iran issue.

“China consistently believes that the relevant country should do more to benefit peace and stability in the region, and jointly protect peace and stability there,” Chen told a news briefing, ahead of a major summit between China and Arab states in Beijing next week.

“Especially as it is a country on the Gulf, it should dedicate itself to being a good neighbor and coexisting peacefully,” he added. “China will continue to play our positive, constructive role.”

Ministers from 21 Arab countries are attending the summit. Chinese President Xi Jinping will give the opening address on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Netherlands has expelled two Iranian embassy staff, the Dutch Intelligence service AIVD said on Friday. “We can confirm that the Netherlands has expelled two persons accredited to the Iranian embassy,” a spokesperson for Dutch intelligence said. “We will not provide any further information.”


Troop withdrawal in Yemen's Hodeidah could start Tuesday, Wednesday: UN envoy Griffiths

Updated 36 min 31 sec ago
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Troop withdrawal in Yemen's Hodeidah could start Tuesday, Wednesday: UN envoy Griffiths

  • The Iranian-backed Houthi movement and Arab coalition agreed in talks in December to withdraw troops by Jan. 7
  • The UN said on Sunday that the parties had reached agreement on phase one of a troop redeployment

LONDON:  A redeployment of forces in Yemen's Hodeidah by the warring parties could start "possibly even today or tomorrow," UN Yemen envoy Martin Griffiths told the Security Council on Tuesday.

The Iranian-backed Houthi movement and Arab coalition agreed in talks in December to withdraw troops by Jan. 7 from the main port of Hodeidah. But the deal stalled.

The UN said on Sunday that the parties had reached agreement on phase one of a troop redeployment, with Griffiths saying the two parties in the Yemeni conflict had made "remarkable progress led by General Ollesgard."

Despite the advancement, Griffiths called on both parties to the Yemeni conflict not to miss the opportunity for peace and to reach an agreement.

He said: "I know exactly the obstacles and setbacks that will be in front of us, but we have to work on a final solution."