China says Iran nuclear deal participants should stick to pact, despite internal changes

Reuters News
|
Posted: Dec 05, 2016 5:28 AM

BEIJING (Reuters) - Iran's nuclear deal with six major powers should continue regardless of changes in the internal situation of participant nations, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Iran's visiting foreign minister during a meeting in Beijing on Monday.

The future of the deal to curb Iran's nuclear program has been thrown into jeopardy with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump set to take office next month.

During his election campaign Trump vowed to scrap the pact, although the final details of his foreign policy strategy, including his stance on Iran, remain unclear.

"Maintaining the deal's continued, comprehensive and effective implementation is the responsibility and common interest of all parties, and should not be impacted by changes in the internal situation of each country," Wang said.

He did not name specific countries in his comments, carried on China's foreign ministry website.

Iran shared China's position, the Middle East country's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said.

"The JCPOA is a multilateral agreement and all parties should respect it. Iran and China have the same stance on this," he said, according to the Tasnim news agency.

"We will not let any country infringe the agreement unilaterally," he added. "But if they do, Iran has its own options."

The ministers also discussed greater cooperation on energy, trade and infrastructure under China's new Silk Road initiative, the Chinese foreign ministry said.

Iran has said it seeks to expand economic and security ties with China, following a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping in January.

Tension between Iran and the United States over the accord had already risen before the election, after the U.S. Senate voted a ten-year extension of the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA). Iran vowed to retaliate.

A decision by Trump to scrap the deal would probably give Iran's hard-line Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps an opportunity to regain power it lost during talks between the current Iranian leadership and major nations.

(Reporting by Christian Shepherd and Bozorgmehr Sharafedin in London; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)