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China-Iran. Xi Jinping met with President Ebrahim Raisi. Talks, inter alia, on the nuclear deal

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Chinese leader Xi Jinping, during a meeting with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Beijing, called for a solution to Iran’s nuclear issue while expressing support for the country in protecting its rights and interests, Chinese state media reported. Both countries are facing US sanctions, have close relations with Russia and are considered opponents of the international order with the dominant position of the US.

A three-day visit Ebrahim Raisi in Beijing, described by the media as the first visit of an Iranian president in China for 20 years, is intended to strengthen bilateral economic relations. Raisi is accompanied to Beijing by the head of the central bank and high-ranking trade, economic and oil officials.

According to Tehran, a number of “cooperation documents” will be signed during the visit. Iran and China have close economic ties, including in the fields of energy, transport, agriculture, trade and investment, and in 2021 signed a “strategic cooperation” agreement for 25 years.

China will continue to “constructively participate” in the nuclear deal talks

Reuters, citing Chinese state media, reported that during a meeting between Raisi and Xi, the latter called for a solution to Iran’s nuclear issue while expressing support for the country in protecting its rights and interests.

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Xi told Raisi that China would continue to “constructively participate” in talks to resume negotiations on the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal.

Under the rule Donald Trumpin 2018 United States withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal. China and Russia – next to the USA, Great Britain, France and Germany – are among the signatories of this agreement.

Moscow may try to use the nuclear talks as a bargaining chip in talks with the West, said Ma Xiaolin, an expert from the University of International Studies of Zhejiang province, quoted by “SCMP”.

Xi Jinping met with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi PAP/EPA/XINHUA/YAN YAN

“China and Iran have a traditional friendship, and the consolidation and development of Sino-Iranian relations is a strategic choice for both sides,” Wang Wenbin, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing, said before the meeting between the two leaders.

Strategic Alliance of Iran and Russia

The AFP agency notes that Iran is considered one of the few remaining allies of Russia supporting its invasion of Ukraine. Western countries accuse Tehran of supplying Moscow with combat drones, and according to Washington, Iranian-Russian cooperation also applies to other types of weapons.

Beijing has not condemned the Russian aggression and refrains from calling it an invasion, but according to some commentators, it tries to avoid providing specific military aid in order to avoid sanctions. The Chinese authorities declared support for the achievement of Russia’s “strategic development goals” under the leadership of President Putin. The state-owned Chinese media is promoting the Kremlin’s propaganda narrative.

Raisi met Xi for the first time in September 2022 during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Uzbekistan.

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/XINHUA/YAN YAN

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