National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) has announced that the director of its fuel-oil trading division will head its office in Beijing. Maziar Hojjati will start in July and will oversee Iran’s oil exports to China. (China Economic Review, 26 June)
By July 1 the U.S. oil-related sanctions and EU’s ban on insuring tankers carrying Iranian crude will be in effect and are expected to cut the volume of Iran’s oil exports significantly. China, however, does not accept the legality of the sanctions imposed outside the UN framework and will continue purchasing Iranian crude at normal volume, making its purchases critical to Iran’s oil exports. Posting a senior oil executive in Beijing signifies China’s important position.