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President Hassan Rouhani (R) meets Chairman of China's National Development and Reform Commission He Lifeng in Tehran on August 6.
President Hassan Rouhani (R) meets Chairman of China's National Development and Reform Commission He Lifeng in Tehran on August 6.

China Renews Criticism of New US Sanctions on Iran

Sino-Iran relations entered a new era after a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Tehran last year and the process of developing bilateral ties is advancing smoothly

China Renews Criticism of New US Sanctions on Iran

The chairman of China's National Development and Reform Commission reiterated his side's criticism of a new US sanctions package targeting Iran along with China's two other major partners, namely Russia and North Korea.
"We are against unilateral sanctions and favor the full and thorough implementation of JCPOA," He Lifeng said, referring to the 2015 nuclear agreement, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
The Chinese official, who attended President Hassan Rouhani's high-profile swearing-in ceremony for a second term a day earlier, made the announcement in a meeting with the president in Tehran on Sunday, IRNA reported.
US President Donald Trump's signing of the congressional sanctions measure on Wednesday ended weeks of speculation over whether he would exercise his veto power to save his hopes of warming Washington's relations with Moscow.
The measure was meant to punish Russia for its 2014 annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine and alleged meddling in the US presidential election last year.
It provoked Russian retaliation, which involved the expulsion of over 700 US diplomatic staff and the seizure of two compounds used by US diplomats for recreation. Tehran became subject to the new penalties over its missile development program and alleged terrorism support and human rights abuses. It has denounced the sanctions as a breach of JCPOA, under which major powers committed to ease sanctions against Iran in exchange for time-bound curbs on its nuclear work.

  New Chapter
The Chinese chairman said Sino-Iran relations "entered a new era" after a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Tehran last year.
Under the oversight of the two presidents, the process of developing bilateral ties is advancing smoothly, the Chinese envoy said, expressing confidence that the process would gather pace over Rouhani's second term.
Rouhani praised Beijing's role during the negotiations leading to the nuclear pact and said, "All parties to the pact should closely cooperate to ensure its full implementation."
The lifting of the decade-old sanctions strengthened Rouhani's hand to revive foreign trade by opening the Iranian economy to global markets.
"After the action plan took effect [on January 16, 2016], the two sides have taken effective steps to facilitate and expand banking relations," Rouhani added.

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