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China FM warns against obstruction of Iran nuclear deal

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (front R) arrives with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi (front L) for a joint press conference in Beijing on December 5, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

China has warned that no party to the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and world countries should allow its domestic upheavals to adversely affect its commitment to the accord.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the remarks in Beijing on Monday at a joint press conference with visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the nuclear accord came about in July 2015 between Iran on the one side, and the US, Britain, Russia, France and China plus Germany on the other.

“Of course, implementation of the JCPOA is a long process and it is natural for problems and differences to occur along the course,” Wang noted. “What is important is that all resolve whatever problem that may arise through negotiation and consultation in the light of the principle of commitment to the terms of the JCPOA.”

Recently, the US Congress voted to extend Washington’s sanctions law against the Islamic Republic, known as the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA), although the JCPOA has removed all nuclear-related sanctions against Tehran.

On his campaign trail, US president-elect Donald Trump had made several highly-controversial remarks against the accord, raising speculations that Washington may take steps in breach of the accord under the new government.

During the press conference, Zarif also urged all relevant parties to honor their obligations under the JCPOA, saying they “cannot ignore the agreement.”

“We will not allow any party to unilaterally undertake any actions that are in violation of the nuclear agreement,” Zarif said. “This is our and China’s position, and we would not allow for a single party to ignore these issues,” he added.

The top Iranian diplomat, however, reminded, “Of course, we, too, have our own choice here.”

Elsewhere in his remarks, Zarif his visit to China ushered in a “strategic stage” in bilateral Tehran-Beijing relations.

He also said he had spoken with Wang about increased cooperation on energy, transport, science and technology, national defense, and counter-terrorism initiatives.

Iran and China could both cooperate and work to complement each other’s efforts in the “One Belt, One Road” initiative, proposed by the Chinese head of state, under which Beijing is pushing ahead to revive the trans-continental multi-modal trade route of Silk Road, Zarif said.

The Iranian top diplomat arrived in the Chinese capital earlier in the day at the head of a large high-ranking political and economic delegation following a two-day visit to India.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) is greeted by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi before a meeting in Beijing on December 5, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

The joint presser followed a meeting Zarif and Wang.

During the talks, Iran’s foreign minister said Tehran and Beijing had common views on issues of global significance, and noting that there are no obstacles in the way of the expansion of bilateral ties.

He praised Sino-Iranian relations as warm and strong, saying Iran is ready to align itself with China in all areas as the two nations have mutual interests and a common approach towards international affairs.

The officials billed a January visit to Iran by Chinese President Xi Jinping as historical.

The Chinese official, for his part, said his country supported Iran’s accession to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) regional security group, of which the Islamic Republic is currently an observer member.

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