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EghtesadOnline: Iran is keen to forge closer ties with China as a rising economic power, Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif said, while urging the East Asian country to resist US bullying and unilateralism.

China is a “reliable” partner of Iran, and the Chinese government and people know that Iran is a “trustworthy” partner, Zarif told Hong Kong-based Phoenix Television in an interview broadcast on Friday, IRNA reported. 

He stressed that Iran will never make politically motivated decisions when it comes to energy supply to China. 

Tehran’s interest in working more closely with Beijing is of “strategic” importance and not based on “short-term” goals, the top Iranian diplomat added, according to Financial Tribune.

China is the biggest buyer of crude from Iran, which is the third-largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. 


Constructive Role 

Zarif said China’s economic prosperity plays a determining factor in shaping its own future and that of the world.  

He noted that China’s role is very “positive” and “constructive”, particularly in relation to Iran due to their shared views on main issues.   

Cooperation between the two nations will continue to develop, he said, adding that Iranian and Chinese governments should prove that the world is not limited to the West.  

The foreign minister called on Beijing to stand up to US bullying attitude toward Iran, given the longstanding relations between the two countries. 

The United States reimposed sanctions targeting Iran’s oil, banking and transport sectors in November to force Tehran to halt its ballistic missile and nuclear programs, but offered waivers to some countries to continue to buy Iranian crude. 

China, which largely stood with the Islamic Republic during the previous round of sanctions against its exports, is allowed to buy 360,000 barrels per day of oil from Iran for 180 days under the waiver, Reuters reported. 


Huawei Executive

Asked about the arrest of a top Huawei executive over alleged violation of US export and sanctions laws, Zarif said the United States is acting against international law. 

Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s global chief financial officer, was arrested in Canada on Dec. 1 and faces extradition to the United States, which alleges that she covered up her company’s links to a firm that tried to sell equipment to Iran despite sanctions. 

The Americans are telling the world to stop trading with Iran, which is against the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231, the foreign minister said, in an apparent reference to the resolution that enshrined Iran’s nuclear accord with world powers. 

US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the deal that granted Tehran sanctions relief, claiming that it is one-sided and in Iran’s favor. 

Zarif said China and other countries should strongly reject US illegitimate demands, not for the sake of Iran but because of their own interests on the world stage. 


Iran ties China Mohammed Javad Zarif economic power