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Iran's Zarif in China: Disregard for international law on rise

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) shakes hands with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on August 26, 2019. (Photo by IRNA)

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says disregard for international law has increased during recent years, describing this as a reason for boosting international cooperation between Iran and China.

Zarif made the remarks during a meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, in Beijing on Monday, where he is on a two-day tour of the Far Eastern country.

“Inattention to international regulations and humiliation of international law has been on the rise and this is why the two countries of Iran and China, as age-old friends, need to further expand their bilateral cooperation,” Iran's top diplomat said.

Zarif mentioned economic and cultural sectors as the most important areas of cooperation between the two countries, saying, “Iran and China can collaborate in the fields of science, innovation and technology, economy, trade and security issues.”

He also lauded longstanding cordial relations between Tehran and Beijing, noting that the two countries can also closely cooperate within framework of international and regional organizations.

JCPOA important diplomatic achievement: China FM

The Chinese foreign minister, for his part, said the landmark nuclear agreement signed between Iran and major world powers, including China, in 2015 was an important diplomatic achievement and a symbol of multilateralism.

"We are currently witnessing the rise of unilateralism and power politics. China, as a responsible country, is willing to work with Iran and the rest of the world to defend multilateralism and protect the basic norms of international relations," Wang said.

He added that Beijing is determined to cooperate with Tehran and the international community to save the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Wang noted that bilateral, regional and international issues were discussed during his meeting with Zarif, and said Iran and China should draw plans for joint cooperation in a way that would help them continue their development and progress.

He said that his Iranian counterpart’s three visits to Beijing over the past year showed the significance of the two countries' diplomatic relations.

Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China – plus Germany signed the JCPOA on July 14, 2015 and started implementing it on January 16, 2016.

Under the deal, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions.

However, US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the international nuclear deal in May last year and stepped up sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

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Zarif to offer 25-year China partnership roadmap

Upon his arrival in Beijing, Zarif took to his official Twitter page, noting that during his visit of the country, he would offer a 25-year roadmap to materialize comprehensive strategic partnership between Iran and China.

He added that the roadmap also aimed to pave the way for Iran to actively contribute to China’s “Belt & Road Initiative.”

The Iranian foreign minister, heading a delegation, arrived in China on Monday at the first leg of a three-nation Asian tour, which would also take him to Japan and Malaysia.

Zarif's Asian tour comes fresh on the heels of a visit to the French city of Biarritz, where a meeting of the world’s seven top economic powers, known as G7, was held over the weekend.

The spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Abbas Mousavi, said in a tweet on Sunday that the country’s top diplomat had landed in the French city at the official invitation of his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian, to continue consultations on the recent initiatives proposed by Iran's President Hassan Rouhani and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron.Read more:

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