Chinese state companies began supplying gasoline to Iran earlier in September and now provide up to one-third of its imports, the Financial Times reported Wednesday.
The Sino-Iranian deal may undermine US-led efforts to shut off the supply of fuel on which Iran's economy depends. Iran has large reserves of crude oil but its refining capacity is minimal.
The sales come in spite of moves over the past year by international companies, including BP and Reliance of India, to stop selling gasoline to Teheran, and highlight the difficulties of implementing sanctions aimed at curbing Iran's nuclear ambitions.
The paper reports that the Chinese gasoline fills in the gap left by the withdrawal of such long-standing suppliers.