China backs Iran nuclear deal, calls for new MidEast forum
After a meeting with his Iranian counterpart, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi called for a new forum to defuse tensions in the Middle East, in which he reiterated Beijing's support for Tehran.
Wang and Javid Zarif also reiterated their commitment to Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, an implicit reprimand by the United States for abandoning the deal during their Saturday meeting in China's southwestern city of Tengchong, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
Iran has been embroiled in a bitter relationship with Saudi Arabia, the Middle East's other great power, because of the war in Yemen, Iranian influence in Iraq, and Saudi support for Washington's sanctions against Tehran.
"China proposes to build a regional multilateral dialogue platform with equal participation of all parties involved," said the statement by the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
The forum would "enhance mutual understanding through dialogue and examine political and diplomatic solutions to security issues in the Middle East," the statement added.
Wang added that support for the Iranian nuclear deal, which was negotiated by the Obama administration but ultimately abandoned by Donald Trump, would be a requirement for entry into the forum.
Zarif said on Twitter that his "fruitful talks" with Wang were a rejection of "US unilateralism" and had also focused on strategic relationships and collaboration in developing a coronavirus vaccine.
ehl / ybl / gle / qan
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