Reps. Ruben Gallego and Don Bacon have addressed a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in a bipartisan effort concerning Iran's crude exports to China. Concerned over Iran's support for terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah and Hamas, the letter urges the administration to implement preventative measures.
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) November 1, 2023
Reports indicate that Chinese imports of sanctioned Iranian oil have reached their highest levels in decades, which the representatives emphasize. An estimated 1.5 million liters of Iranian crude oil are delivered daily to China, destined for semi-private refiners in Shandong called "teapots." China can shield larger Chinese corporations and the Chinese Communist Party from potential U.S. sanctions through this arrangement.
The letter underscores the peril that U.S. forces in the Middle East and American allies would face if Iran were to evade sanctions. Bacon and Gallego emphasize the critical nature of halting the funding of terrorism supported by Iran.
They address the secretaries on a number of matters pertaining to the administration's strategy to restrict Iranian oil exports, including preparations for potential oil price increases as a result of instability in the Middle East, measures to halt illicit Iranian oil sales to China, and any additional sanctions that may be imposed on Iran.
Gallego has previously exerted pressure on the Biden administration regarding Iran. In the past, he collaborated with Representative Mike Gallagher in advocating for the imposition of sanctions on Iranian crude exports to China and the freezing of the $6 billion that was transferred to Iran in return for hostages.
The sight of bipartisan collaboration regarding a critical matter such as countering Iran's assistance to terrorism is invigorating. The concerns expressed by Gallego and Bacon are legitimate, and the Biden administration must act immediately to cease the illicit oil exports from Iran to China. The direct danger that Iran's evasion of sanctions presents to our allies and military forces in the region is substantial. In addition to addressing this issue, the administration must also be ready to face potential repercussions, such as an increase in crude prices. Additionally, it may be necessary to impose additional sanctions on Iran in order to effectively curtail their assistance to terrorist organizations. The time has come for resolute and authoritative leadership to address Iran's perilous activities.