China on Wednesday condemned the sanctions imposed by the US on a Shanghai-based company, calling it “illegal,” local media reported.

In a news briefing, China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian said: “China will firmly commit itself to safeguarding the legitimate rights of Chinese companies,” according to Daily Global Times.

Zhao urged the US to “immediately lift its illegal sanctions.”

On Tuesday, Washington blacklisted Shanghai Saint Logistics Limited for allegedly for providing general sales agent services to an Iranian airline — Mahan Air.

In a Twitter post on Tuesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had alleged China was “one of the few countries” that still “welcomes Mahan Air”.

Pompeo said the said airline “used to ferry Iran’s arms and terrorists.”

“Today’s designation of a China-based company exacts consequences for that decision. Anyone doing business with Mahan Air runs the risk of sanctions,” he added.

Mahan Air was sanctioned by the US in 2011 for allegedly providing support to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which US President Donald Trump designated a terrorist organization last year.

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