China denounces US sanctions against Iran as cooperation agreement is launched | world news

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China reaffirmed its opposition to unilateral U.S. sanctions on Iran as the Chinese and Iranian foreign ministers announced the launch of a 25-year cooperation agreement aimed at strengthening ties economic and political.

At a meeting Friday in Wuxi city, Jiangsu province, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi also backed efforts to revive a 2015 nuclear deal between major powers and Iran.

A summary of Wang’s meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian was posted on the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s website on Saturday.

Wang, who is also a state councilor, said the United States was primarily responsible for continuing difficulties with Iran, having unilaterally withdrawn from a 2015 nuclear deal between major powers and Iran.

Under the terms of the deal, in return for the lifting of international sanctions, Iran would limit uranium enrichment activity, making it more difficult to develop nuclear weapons – although Tehran denies having weapons plans nuclear.

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Wang said China would strongly support a resumption of negotiations on a nuclear pact.

But he said China firmly opposes unilateral sanctions against Iran, political manipulation on issues such as human rights and interference in the internal affairs of Iran and Iran. other countries in the region.

The United States reimposed sanctions that severely hurt Iran’s economy after it withdrew from the nuclear pact in 2018, saying the conditions did not do enough to curb nuclear activities, the ballistic missile program and the Iran’s regional influence.

A year later, Iran began to gradually violate the accord, replenishing stockpiles of enriched uranium, refining it to higher fissile purity and installing advanced centrifuges to speed up production.

China and Iran, both subject to US sanctions, signed the 25-year cooperation agreement last March, bringing Iran into China’s Belt and Road Initiative, a multi-trillion dollar infrastructure program dollars destined to expand from East Asia to Europe.

The project aims to dramatically expand China’s economic and political influence and has raised concerns in the United States and elsewhere.

The Foreign Ministry summary says the agreement will deepen China-Iran cooperation in areas such as energy, infrastructure, agriculture, healthcare and culture, as well as cybersecurity and cooperation with other countries.

Iran and the United States remain locked in talks on the possibility of finding a compromise to renew the agreement and allay fears of a war in the wider Middle East. A source familiar with the negotiations said on Friday that many issues remained unresolved.

Wang, who earlier in the week met with several counterparts from Gulf Arab countries concerned about the potential threat from Iran, also said China hopes to set up a dialogue mechanism with Gulf countries to discuss issues. regional security.

(Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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