Zarif says Iran, China interested in expanding strategic ties

December 31, 2019 - 21:5

TEHRAN – Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Tuesday that Iran and China have developed ties to strategic level which shows the two countries are interested in expanding relations and interaction.

During a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing, Zarif said that China plays a very important role in international developments, especially issues related to Iran.

He condemned the United States’ unilateral sanctions on Iran and urged the international community to counter unilateralism and support multilateralism.

For his part, Wang said Iran and China should continue talks and consultations.

During a press conference on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said, “Wang noted that important changes are brewing surrounding the Iranian nuclear issue and the JCPOA is facing severe challenges. The U.S. has unilaterally withdrawn from the JCPOA, shirked its international obligations and exerted maximum pressure on Iran. This is the root cause of the current tension over the Iranian nuclear issue. Wang stressed that the JCPOA, approved by the security council resolution, is an important outcome of multilateral diplomacy. To uphold the authority and effectiveness of the JCPOA means to uphold multilateralism, international law and basic norms governing international relations. China supports all constructive efforts to ease the current tension and safeguard the JCPOA. We hope that all parties to the JCPOA will stick to the right direction, stand up to external pressure, resolve existing differences through dialogue and consultation, and firmly uphold and implement the Iranian nuclear deal. China will resolutely safeguard international fairness and justice, opposes unilateralism and bullying behavior, and work for the political and diplomatic settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue.”

“Zarif commended and appreciated China’s important role in upholding the JCPOA and briefed the Chinese side on what has been discussed regarding the nuclear issue with Russia, Europe among others. He said Iran is willing to maintain close communication with China, adhere to multilateralism while opposing unilateralism, earnestly uphold the JCPOA and defend its legitimate rights and interests. Iran attaches great importance to relations with China. It is committed to deepening cooperation with China and stands ready to work with China to scale new heights in China-Iran comprehensive strategic partnership,” he said.

Zarif hopes cooperation with China would expand in 2020

In a tweet in Chinese language on Tuesday, Zarif expressed hope that Iran-China “strategic cooperation” would expand in 2020.

He also said that he was happy to spend the last night of 2019 in Beijing.

Prior to his visit to China, Zarif visited Russia on Sunday and Monday and held meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

During the meeting, Zarif said that the U.S. has spread unilateralism and seeks to impose its demands on others and noted that collective cooperation is required to counter unilateralism.

‘Russia, China are Iran’s strategic partners’

In an interview with IRNA published on Tuesday, Zarif also said that Russia and China are Iran’s “close political and strategic partners”.

He said that the three countries must continue political consultations.

Pointing to Iran-Russia-China naval wargame, Zarif said that the exercise bore the message of opposing the U.S. unilateralism.

Iran, Russia, and China launched the naval wargame, codenamed “Marine Security Belt”, in the Sea of Oman and the north of the Indian Ocean from December 27 to 30.

NA/PA

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