The White House imposed sanctions on a Chinese bank drawing protests from Beijing as the US steps up efforts to undermine Iran’s nuclear ambitions, The Wall Street Journal reported. US officials have accused Bank of Kunlun, a subsidiary of state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation, as well as Elaf Islamic Bank in Iraq of providing financial services to a number of Iranian banks involved in the country’s nuclear activities. The US exempted China from sanctions on institutions financing Iran’s energy sector in June but was still able to impose the sanctions on Kunlun under provisions in a 2010 law. The Chinese government responded by calling for the US to remove the sanctions. The sanctions “badly violate rules governing international relations and hurt China’s interests,” said China foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang in a statement on the ministry’s website.