Raisi expresses Iranians’ angst over Chinese president’s recent stance

December 14, 2022 - 22:2

TEHRAN - President Ebrahim Raisi stated late on Tuesday that the Iranian people and the government were annoyed as the Chinese president gave in to a GCC-China joint statement in which it called for negotiations on the ownership of three Iranian islands in the Persian Gulf.

Iran wants China to review its position in this regard, Raisi said during a meeting with visiting Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua.

In the joint statement issued on Friday during President Xi Jinping’s visit to Saudi Arabia it was stated that China’s leader and the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council rulers affirm “their support for all peaceful efforts, including the initiative and endeavours of the United Arab Emirates to reach a peaceful solution to the issue of the three islands; Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb, and Abu Musa, through bilateral negotiations in accordance with the rules of international law, and to resolve this issue in accordance with international legitimacy.” 

Iran has been insisting for long years that it will never negotiate on its islands.

Vice Premier Hu said Beijing has consistently respected Iran's territorial integrity and interests.

Leading a significant trade and economic delegation, Hu Chunhua arrived in Tehran to implement the 25-year comprehensive cooperation agreement between China and Iran.

Raisi emphasized that Tehran and Beijing's relations have improved since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, but added that Iran has a serious request from China to change its declared positions because "some positions raised during the Chinese president's recent visit to the region triggered unhappiness and grudge among the people and in the government of Iran."

The president also lauded the Chinese delegation's visit to Iran, calling it "important" for the growth of trade and economic relations between the two nations.

Raisi underlined the importance of the past meetings of the two nations' presidents and the attempts put by authorities on both sides to accomplish them.

For his part, Hu sent the warm congratulations of President Xi to the Iranian counterpart, underscoring Beijing's interest in advancing relationship with Tehran.

He asserted that China's determination to forge ties with a “powerful Iran” is a long-term plan for his state.

Despite regional and global circumstances, he added, "China will maintain the commitment to build and extend relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran."

"China has always recognized the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Islamic Republic of Iran and supports Iran's attempts to safeguard its core interests," the vice premier said.

Hu continued by saying that with the start of the joint investments totaling tens of billions of dollars and the expansion of economic, industrial, energy, transit, financial, and banking cooperation, the two sides are forging ahead with the implementation of a strategic partnership agreement.

In spite of the U.S.'s unilateral sanctions, Iran and China inked a historic 25-year comprehensive strategic cooperation deal in March 2021.

The agreement formalizes the Sino-Iranian Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, which was unveiled during Xi's 2016 trip to Tehran. It lays forth the framework for the two nations' collaboration over the next 25 years in the areas of politics, culture, security, defense, and regional and international affairs.

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