The U.S. has issued sanctions against one of China’s largest state-backed oil companies for transporting Iranian crude oil, targeting one of Tehran’s key customers as Washington ratchets up pressure on the Islamic republic.

The Chinese company Zhuhai Zhenrong and its CEO, Youmin Li, will be barred from engaging in foreign exchange, banking or property transactions under U.S. jurisdiction.

The Chinese government condemned the move on July 23, saying it was firmly opposed to U.S. “bullying.”

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