0338 GMT January 19, 2020
The government is providing assistance to Iranian petrochemical companies to overcome the difficulty in receiving payments for petrochemical exports to China, said Iran's oil minister on Friday.
Bijan Namdar Zanganeh added the root of the problem is business-related, not political. "The firms involved are private companies, not public ones, and they, themselves are following up the issue," he said, according to IRNA.
In recent weeks, Chinese and Iranian companies have faced a host of problems in reimbursing and receiving, respectively, the payments for Iran's petrochemical exports to China.
Some maintained that it was Iranian fund frozen in Chinese banks while some critics, without sufficient evidence, said that China had sanctioned imports of Iranian petrochemicals, which was later denied by the authorities.
Responding to a question about when the problem will be solved, Zanganeh said, "It is not clear, we are only one party to the issue and the other is China."
The main cause of the problem is that since May, China has begun implementing new regulations and laws to fight money laundering, based on which the Chinese government is strictly monitoring petrochemical imports and money transfers from the country.
Earlier, Marzieh Shahdaei, the deputy oil minister for petrochemical affairs, said there is no problem in exporting petrochemicals to China but receiving the money for the exports has been problematic.
"The government is pursuing the issue and the Chinese ambassador in Tehran has been asked to provide sufficient explanations."