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China slams U.S. sanctions on Iran as cooperation agreement launched

WorldJan 15, 2022 02:45AM ET
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© Reuters. 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

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

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

A summary of the meeting between Wang and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian was posted on China's foreign ministry website on Saturday.

Wang, who is also State Councillor, said the U.S. bore primary responsibility for the ongoing difficulties with Iran, having unilaterally withdrawn from a 2015 nuclear deal between the major powers and Iran.

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

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

But he said China firmly opposes unilateral sanctions against Iran, political manipulation through topics including human rights, and interference in the internal affairs of Iran and other regional countries.

The United States reimposed sanctions that badly damaged Iran's economy after withdrawing from the nuclear pact in 2018, saying the terms did not do enough to curb Iran's nuclear activities, ballistic missile program and regional influence.

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

China and Iran, both subject to U.S. sanctions, signed the 25-year cooperation agreement last March, bringing Iran into China' Belt and Road Initiative, a multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure scheme intended to stretch from East Asia to Europe.

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

The foreign ministry summary said the agreement would deepen Sino-Iranian cooperation in areas including energy, infrastructure, agriculture, health care and culture, as well as cyber security and cooperation with other countries.

Iran and the U.S. remain locked in talks over whether a compromise can be found to renew the deal and dispel fears of a wider Middle East War. A source close to negotiations said on Friday that many issues remain 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 regional security issues.

China slams U.S. sanctions on Iran as cooperation agreement launched
 

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Comments (4)
John Laurens
John Laurens Jan 15, 2022 9:05AM ET
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Nobody cares.. blah blah blah..
Toyo Shiwata
Toyo Shiwata Jan 15, 2022 8:19AM ET
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that is the crap about sanctions. only america think they are superior than the rest, who gave them the power to lay restrictions on other nations if they are not on the same page? this is what i call a pot calling the kettle black. influence and power should be spread and not reside on only few.
John Laurens
John Laurens Jan 15, 2022 8:19AM ET
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All countries have a right to sanction despotic regimes. China is certainly welcome to ignore it.
MK MK
MK MK Jan 15, 2022 7:25AM ET
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Good move. Yankees should be kicked everywhere
Honey Badger
Honey Badger Jan 14, 2022 11:58PM ET
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You broke the deal you need to pay price for it.
 
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