iran-china

China to send senior official as special envoy to Iran

China will send the head of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) as its special envoy to Iran, the foreign ministry said on Monday, a week after Iran’s foreign minister called on China’s help to resolve tensions in the Middle East.

China and Iran have close diplomatic, economic, trade and energy ties, and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has been active in pushing both the United States and Iran to reach agreement on the nuclear issue.

Zhang Yi, the head of SASAC, will be in Iran from Monday to Wednesday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a daily news briefing. He did not elaborate on the reason for Zhang’s visit.

Last Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran wants China’s help to resolve tensions and unrest in the Middle East and is ready to play host to more Chinese firms once sanctions against it are lifted.

China’s SASAC is a ministry-level body that directly oversees 112 central government industrial and service conglomerates.

Under the multilateral deal, agreed in July, sanctions imposed by the United States, European Union and United Nations will be lifted in return for Iran agreeing to long-term curbs on a nuclear program that the West has suspected was aimed at creating a nuclear bomb.

China had long railed against unilateral sanctions imposed on Iran by the United States and Europe, though it has supported U.N. ones, and had denounced threats of force.

By Reuters