China backs restart of nuclear deal with Iran

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China backs restart of nuclear deal with Iran

China backed efforts to revive a 2015 nuclear deal between major powers and Iran after meeting Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Iranian counterpart on January 15, and reaffirmed its opposition to unilateral sanctions by the United States against Iran.

A summary of Friday's meeting between Wang and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian in the city of Wuxi in Jiangsu province was posted on China's foreign ministry website on Saturday.

Amirabdollahian is going to announce the launch of a 25 year cooperation agreement between the Islamic Republic and Communist-ruled China during his visit.

Wang, a State Councillor, said the U.S. bore primary responsibility for the ongoing difficulties with Iran, having unilaterally withdrawn from a 2015 nuclear deal between the major powers and Iran.

Iran would limit uranium enrichment activity in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions, making it harder to develop nuclear weapons - although Tehran denies having plans for nuclear weapons.

Wang said that China would support a resumption of negotiations on a nuclear pact.

But he said China strongly opposes illegal unilateral sanctions against Iran, political manipulation through topics such as human rights and interference in the internal affairs of Iran and other regional countries.

After withdrawing from the nuclear pact in 2018, the United States imposed sanctions that badly damaged Iran's economy, saying the terms did not do enough to curb Iran's nuclear activities, ballistic missile program and regional influence.

A year later, Iran began to breach the accord, rebuilding stockpiles of enriched uranium, refining it to higher fissile purity and installing advanced centrifuges to speed up output.

Iran and the U.S. are still locked in talks over whether a compromise can be found to renew the deal and dispel fears of a wider Middle East War. A source close to negotiations said on Friday that many issues remain unresolved.

He said that China hopes to set up a dialogue mechanism with Gulf countries to discuss regional security issues after meeting with several Gulf Arab countries concerned about the potential threat from Iran earlier in the week.