China reaffirms its opposition to US sanctions against Iran

SHANGHAI, Jan 15 (Reuters) – China reaffirmed its opposition to non-US sanctions against Iran at a meeting between Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Iranian counterpart, as part of efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal between major powers and Iran.

A summary of Friday’s meeting between Wang and Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, was posted on the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s website on Saturday.

During his visit, the Amirabdollahian is expected to announce the establishment of a 25-year agreement between the Islamic Republic and Communist-controlled China.

Wang, who is also the State Councilor, said the US was “deeply responsible for the crisis in Iran, as it abandoned the 2015 nuclear deal between the major powers and Iran.”

Under the treaty, in response to the lifting of international sanctions, Iran could reduce uranium enrichment activities, making it more difficult to develop nuclear weapons – even though Tehran refuses to develop nuclear weapons plans.

Wang said China would actively support the resumption of talks on the nuclear deal.

But he said China strongly opposes sanctions against Iran, political interference in human rights issues, and interference in Iran’s internal affairs and other regional issues.

The United States has retaliated against sanctions that severely damaged Iran’s economy following the withdrawal of the 2018 nuclear deal, saying the talks did not do enough to end Iran’s nuclear program, ballistic missile program and regional influence.

One year later, Iran began to slowly break the treaty, rebuild heavy uranium reserves, refine them to a point of purity, and set high centrifuges to accelerate extraction.

Iran and the US are still embroiled in controversy over whether a compromise could be reached to renew the treaty and allay fears of a Middle East war. A source close to the talks said on Friday that many issues had not been resolved.

Wang, who earlier this week met with several colleagues from the Gulf Arab states concerned about the potential threat to Iran, also said China hopes to establish a mechanism to engage with Gulf states to discuss regional security. (Reports by Andrew Galbraith; Edited by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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