Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying underlined that her country’s trade transactions with Iran are within international law. “China's energy trade and cooperation with Iran and other Middle East countries are very open, transparent and legitimate,” Hua told reporters. “This kind of cooperation, which is mutually beneficial, does not harm the interests of any other party, neither does it violate China's international obligations,” she said. Last December, China’s state trader Zhuhai Zhenrong Company started talks with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) for a condensate contract. China plans to purchase 240,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil from its main supplier, Iran, this year. Beijing also more than doubled its crude oil imports from Iran in November 2013 month-on-month amid hopes for sanctions relief on the Islamic Republic. In late November, Iran and the six world powers reached a breakthrough nuclear deal on Tehran’s nuclear standoff with the west. Under the deal, the six powers have agreed to ease some of the existing sanctions against Iran in exchange for Tehran’s agreement to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities during a six-month period. It was also agreed that no more sanctions would be imposed on Iran within the same timeframe.