FM Zarif visits China to discuss Iran nuclear deal

May 14, The Iran Project – Starting a diplomatic tour, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrived in Beijing on Sunday (May 13) to hold talks with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi to discuss ways of of  keeping the deal alive following the US withdrawal.

An Iranian spokesman said Foreign Minister Zarif will also visit Moscow and Brussels as part of the tour, saying the diplomatic mission was aimed at trying to rescue the nuclear deal from the brink of collapse.

Speaking to reporters upon arrival at Beijing International Airport, Zarif stated that “the European Union has made the most demands on Iran after US withdrawal from the nuclear deal, urging us to stay committed to the international agreement.”

“European countries must guarantee that despite the US pullout from the JCPOA, the interests of the Iranian nation will be preserved,” he added.

In a meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Zarif expressed hope that with this visit to China and other countries within the next two days, the sides would be able to depict a clearer vision of the nuclear deal’s future.

The Chinese top diplomat, for his part, voiced his content with the point that  Zarif started his pro-JCPOA tour from China and voiced hope that the visit be of great benefit for the JCPOA and Iran.

Talking to reporters at the end of his visit, Zarif described negotiations with China as ‘positive and constructive’.

“We reached an agreement with China and we will have close cooperation with china as member P5+1-1 to reach tangible guarantees in line with both countries’ interests,” Zarif noted.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang earlier expressed willingness for promoting relations with Iran.

“China is a contracting party to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and closely follows the developments of the Iranian nuclear issue. We are willing to maintain communication with Iran and other relevant parties,” he added.

On May 8, US President Donald Trump announced that the US was walking away from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) which he described as a horrible deal.

Trump also said he would reinstate US nuclear sanctions on Iran and impose “the highest level” of economic bans on the Islamic Republic.

Iran has said it would remain in the JCPOA for now, pending negotiations with the other signatories in the coming weeks before making a final decision on its future role in the agreement.

Meanwhile, Iranian President Hassan Rohani said on May 13 that the U.S. exit from the deal could represent an end of diplomacy as a solution to global political differences.