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China reiterates its objection to US sanctions against Iran

FILE PHOTO: The Iranian flag waves in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna, Austria, March 1, 2021. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner/File Photo

At a meeting between Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Iranian counterpart, China underlined its opposition to unilateral US sanctions against Iran, while also supporting efforts to resurrect the 2015 nuclear deal between major powers and Iran.

The news: On Saturday, a report of Wang’s meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, was posted on China’s foreign ministry website.

  • Amirabdollahian is expected to announce the start of a 25-year cooperation deal between the Islamic Republic and the Communist-ruled China during his visit.
  • Wang, who is also a State Councillor, mentioned that the United States was to blame for the continued problems with Iran since it unilaterally pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal between major nations and Iran.

What they’re saying: In exchange for the removal of international sanctions, Iran agreed to curtail its uranium enrichment activities, making it more difficult for it to acquire nuclear weapons – despite Tehran’s denials.

  • Wang stated that China would strongly support the reopening of nuclear treaty talks.
  • However, he stated that China opposes illegal unilateral sanctions against Iran, political manipulation using themes such as human rights, and intervention in Iran’s and other regional nations’ internal affairs.

What happened: After withdrawing from the nuclear accord in 2018, the US reimposed sanctions that severely harmed Iran’s economy, claiming that the terms did not go far enough to curtail Iran’s nuclear programmes, ballistic missile programme, and regional influence.

  • Iran continued to systematically break the agreement a year later, rebuilding enriched uranium stocks, purifying it to higher fissile purity, and installing advanced centrifuges to increase output.

What’s next: Iran and the United States are still in talks to see if a compromise can be reached to prolong the deal and allay fears of a larger Middle East conflict. Many issues remain unanswered, according to a source close to the talks on Friday.

  • Wang, who met with several peers from Gulf Arab countries earlier this week to address Iran’s possible danger, also stated that China intends to establish a communication mechanism with Gulf countries to discuss regional security issues.

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