Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his Iranian counterpart during a meeting in Jiangsu that the United States bears primary responsibility for the continuation of the diplomatic impasse.
China reiterated its opposition to unilateral sanctions by the United States against Iran in a meeting between Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Iranian counterpart, while supporting efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal between major powers and Iran.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry website on Saturday published a summary of the meeting between Wang and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirbad Allahian on Friday in Wuxi City, Jiangsu Province.
During his visit, Amirabad Allahyan announced the launch of a 25-year cooperation agreement between the Islamic Republic and Communist-ruled China.
Iran’s Press TV reported that Amirbad Allahian also delivered an “important” written message from Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi to Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Wang, who is also a state councilor, said the United States bears primary responsibility for the continued difficulties with Iran, after its unilateral withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal between major powers and Iran.
Under the terms of that deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran would limit its uranium enrichment activity, making it difficult to develop nuclear weapons — although Tehran denies plans for nuclear weapons. In return, international sanctions will be lifted, allowing Iran to sell its oil on the international market.
Wang said China would firmly support the resumption of negotiations on the nuclear deal.
But he said China firmly opposes illegal unilateral sanctions against Iran, political manipulation through topics including human rights, and interference in the internal affairs of Iran and other countries in the region.
In 2018, US President Donald Trump reimposed sanctions that badly damaged Iran’s economy after withdrawing from the nuclear deal, saying the terms did not do enough to curb Iran’s nuclear activities, ballistic missile program and regional influence.
A year later, Iran began gradually rebuilding its enriched uranium stocks, refining it to a higher fissile purity and installing advanced centrifuges to speed up production.
Iran and the United States are still in talks about whether a compromise can be reached to renew the agreement and allay fears of a wider war in the Middle East.
A source close to the negotiations told Reuters on Friday that several issues remained unresolved.
Wang, who met earlier in the week with his Gulf Arab counterparts concerned about the potential threat from Iran, said China hopes to establish a dialogue mechanism with Gulf countries to discuss regional security issues.