Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif hopes to get some clarity on the 2015 nuclear accord, with the hope of keeping the deal alive after Trump announced his withdrawal from the deal last week.
“We hope that with this visit to China and other countries we will be able to construct a clear future design for the comprehensive agreement,” said Zarif after talks in Beijing with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi.
“China is highly concerned with the direction of the Iranian nuclear issue and is willing to maintain communication with all relevant parties, including Iran,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said.
Zarif is also expected to 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. China’s Foreign Ministry on May 13, 2018 confirmed that the agenda of the talks between Zarif and Wang included an “exchange [of] views with relevant parties on the developments of the Iranian nuclear issue.”
After their meeting, Zarif and Wang hailed the “comprehensive strategic partnership” between their countries, with the Chinese minister saying, “I hope and believe that these visits to multiple countries will help protect Iran’s legitimate national interests and peace and stability in the region.”
Iran’s ISNA news agency said Zarif, upon his arrival in Beijing, would discuss Iran’s decision in response to Trump’s move. “As the president of our republic has said, we are ready for all options,” Zarif said. “If the nuclear deal is to continue, the interests of the people of Iran must be assured.” Hassan Rouhani, president of Iran said that Tehran would stay in the nuclear accord if the nation’s interests remained secure.
In 2015, China, Russia, France, Germany, Britain, and the United States signed the nuclear accord, which provided Tehran relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear programme. However, after Donald Trump became the US president in 2016, he believed Tehran was violating the spirit of the deal by continuing tests on ballistic missiles and supporting militant activities in the region. However, Iran has maintained that its nuclear programme testing is only for civilian purposes and has denied supporting extremists in the region.