The People's Daily, the official newspaper of China's ruling Communist Party, said in a commentary that the U.S. move was misguided and selfish and China had every right to import oil from Iran.
"One stand-out feature of unilateralism is this: that one's own rules become the world's rules. Everyone must respect them, and if you don't, then you will be punished," the paper said, adding that previous unilateralism by the United States had led to the quagmires of Iraq and Afghanistan.
"The facts have proved again and again that unilateralism is not the way to resolve the world's problems, and that it will only complicate and exacerbate the situation, and not only not douse the flames but may even fan them."
The People's Daily commentary was published under the pen name "Zhong Sheng", meaning "Voice of China", which is often used to give the paper's view on foreign policy issues.