Chinese PM affirms support for Iran deal to Israeli counterpart Netanyahu

Sputnik – Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has affirmed China’s support for the Iranian nuclear deal during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Department of West Asian and North African Affairs Director-General Deng Li said Monday.

BEIJIN (Sputnik) — Netanyahu is currently leading a large business delegation to the Chinese capital aiming to promote economic ties and technological cooperation. The Israeli leader previously stated he would also like to discuss urgent global issues, including the Middle East.

“The sides also discussed the Iranian issue. China’s position on the matter is very clear. We think that it is necessary to observe the comprehensive nuclear agreement reached with Iran, and that it is necessary to uphold the international non-proliferation regime,” Deng told reporters after a meeting between prime ministers of China and Israel.

China also considers the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries to be a guarantee of peace and stability in the region, the diplomat added.

China’s support for the Iran deal comes amid harsher rhetoric from the new US administration. In February, US President Donald Trump said during his first meeting with Netanyahu that he was planning fresh anti-Iran measures as the country posed a threat to Israeli and US security. Trump had previously criticized the JCPOA as a bad deal, while Iran responded stating it could not be renegotiated and affirmed its commitment to peaceful nuclear energy. Trump’s administration has already tightened sanctions against Iran over the country’s ballistic missile launches.

On July 14, 2015, Iran and the P5+1 group of countries, comprising Russia, China, the United Kingdom, the United States, France and Germany, signed the JCPOA to ensure the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program. Under this agreement, Iran stated that it would not further seek to develop or acquire nuclear weapons in exchange for the gradual lifting of international sanctions.