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China reaffirms friendly Iran ties

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China's Ambassador to Iran Yu Hongyang

China’s Ambassador to Iran has reiterated Beijing’s determination to expand ties with Tehran amid Western-led efforts to impose more unilateral sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

During a Saturday visit to the Iranian central city of Arak, Ambassador Yu Hongyang described Iran-China relations as satisfactory and added, “Considering the long history of the ties, there is no policy with respect to changing it.”

China is seeking to bolster its politico-economic ties with the Islamic Republic and our bilateral collaborations will further expand in the future, the official told reporters.

Yu’s remarks come against the backdrop of a persisting US-led Western campaign to ratchet up diplomatic and economic sanctions against Iran over the startling progress the country has made in achieving self-sufficiency in utilizing peaceful nuclear technology.

China has often opposed punitive measures against the Islamic Republic and urged dialogue as the only solution to resolve Iran’s nuclear stand-off.

On December 6, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei dismissed suggestions that China would agree to plans by the US and its allies to expand anti-Iran sanctions to an oil embargo.

Tehran is Beijing’s third crude supplier. Export of other Iranian products such as iron, steel, copper, pistachio, saffron and other non-oil goods to China have been steadily on the rise.

The United States, Britain and Canada imposed additional unilateral sanctions on Iran’s energy and financial sectors on November 21 in the wake of the latest report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on the country’s nuclear activities.

Iran dismissed the latest IAEA report as “unbalanced, unprofessional,” politically motivated and under intense pressure by the United States and its closest allies, such as Britain and France.

The United States, the Israeli regime, and some of their allies have repeatedly and rhetorically accused Tehran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear program.

Iran argues that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the IAEA it has the right to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

The IAEA has conducted countless inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities but has never reported any specific evidence indicating that Tehran’s civilian nuclear program has been diverted to nuclear weapons production.


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