BEIJING, June 11, (Agencies): Chinese leader Xi Jinping called for the Iran nuclear deal to be “earnestly” implemented as he met the country’s president following the US withdrawal from the pact, state media said Monday. Xi met one-on-one with Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani on Sunday following a two-day regional security summit in the eastern Chinese city of Qingdao that also included Russia and former Soviet republics.
President Donald Trump announced last month the US was withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal and reimposing sanctions that would hit international businesses working in the Islamic republic. The other parties to the deal — Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia — have vowed to stay in the accord but their companies risk huge penalties if they keep doing business in Iran. In his meeting with Rouhani, Xi described the deal as “an important outcome of multilateralism”, according to the official Xinhua news service.
Xi said the deal is “conducive to safeguarding peace and stability in the Middle East and the international non-proliferation regime, and should continue to be implemented earnestly,” according to Xinhua. Rouhani said Iran expects the international community, including China, “to play a positive role in properly dealing with relevant issues”, the agency reported.
During the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) on Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin told the assembled leaders, including Rouhani, that the US withdrawal could “destabilise the situation” but Moscow still supports the “unconditional implementation” of the deal.
Rouhani also had a bilateral meeting with Putin in Qingdao on Saturday and said more talks were needed between their two countries following Washington’s “illegal” withdrawal, according to the Kremlin. Iran said Monday that it remains dubious about the prospects for talks between the United States and North Korea, and warned Pyongyang to be highly vigilant about Washington’s promises. “As regards US behaviour, approach and its intentions, we are highly sceptical and look at its actions with utter pessimism,” foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi told reporters in Tehran. “For the time being we cannot be optimistic about the United States’ behaviour, and the government of North Korea must approach this issue with absolute vigilance,” he added.
Ghasemi said US President Donald Trump’s actions in abandoning the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and other international agreements, had shown he was an unreliable partner. “We would like peace, stability and security to be established in the Korean Peninsula,” he said, but added that experience in dealing with the US and Trump had left it with “much pessimism”. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrived in Singapore on Sunday for an unprecedented summit, with the US demanding complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation.
It comes just over a month after the US president pulled out of the landmark nuclear deal with Iran and other world powers that put strict restrictions on the Islamic republic’s nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief. Iran’s supreme leader has sought to clarify his position on Israel after being accused of threatening its destruction. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quoted by the official IRNA news agency late Sunday as saying the Mideast conflict should be resolved through a popular referendum among “all real Palestinians, including Muslims, Jews and Christians” who trace their roots back to before the creation of Israel.