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Iran’s Zarif, China’s Wang condemn US practice of bullying, unilateralism

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)
The file photo shows Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi shaking hands before their meeting in Beijing, China. (Via Xinhua)

Iran and China have voiced their strong opposition to bullying practices of the US and its policy of unilateralism, throwing their outright support behind multilateralism and principles of international law.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, made the remarks in a video-conference on Wednesday, during which they discussed bilateral ties, the latest developments surrounding the 2015 multilateral Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and the coronavirus pandemic.

The top Iranian diplomat, for his part, condemned the interference of the United States and some Western countries in China's internal affairs, saying the move would weaken global stability. 

Zarif also praised China's successful performance in the fight against coronavirus, and said that the mutual support of the two nations in this field is a new opportunity to show solidarity, and appreciated the help of the Chinese government to his country in the battle.  

Referring to the comprehensive strategic relations between the two countries, Zarif expressed hope that a comprehensive cooperation document between the two countries would be signed soon.

Emphasizing the importance of developing trade relations, Zarif also suggested that special facilities be provided for the businessmen of the two countries to safely travel under the coronavirus epidemic conditions. 

The Chinese foreign minister, for his turn, thanked Iran for voicing sympathy with his country and rendering assistance to the Chinese people in the fight against the coronavirus.

On the Iran nuclear deal, Wang said, "China opposes any attempt to change the terms of the JCPOA and UN Security Council Resolution 2231 that endorses the accord.  

He also reiterated that the United States “has no right” to resort to the mechanisms enshrined in the JCPOA to achieve certain goals after its withdrawal from the deal.

Iran signed the JCPOA with six world powers — namely the US, Britain, France, Russia and China plus Germany — in 2015. 

However, Washington’s unilateral withdrawal in May 2018 and the subsequent re-imposition of sanctions under the so-called maximum pressure campaign against Iran have left the future of the agreement in limbo.

Apart from threatening other countries to cut trade with Iran in defiance of the JCPOA, the US, which is no longer a party to the deal, has also been seeking to extend an arms embargo against Iran, set to expire in October under the JCPOA, through a resolution at the Security Council.

Iran says the call for the extension of the UN Security Council's arms embargo on Tehran lacks legal standing in international law as US President Donald Trump officially ceased all participation in the nuclear deal when Washington quit the international agreement.   

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