Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visited Beijing after a surprise appearance at the Group of Seven summit in France over the weekend – a move highlighting China’s relationship with Iran, which is in a stand-off with the US over its nuclear program, reported the South China Morning Post.
Zarif tweeted in the afternoon that he had arrived in Beijing after a stopover in Tehran. He said that he planned to present his Chinese hosts with a 25-year road map on the China-Iran comprehensive strategic partnership, which was signed in 2016, and that Tehran would actively contribute to Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative.
Zarif’s visit to Beijing came as countries around the world are divided over their policies on Iran. Last year, the United States withdrew from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action that puts limits on Iran’s nuclear program. It followed that in April with threats of sanctions on countries that continued to buy oil from Iran. Washington also sanctioned Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Zarif.
China’s foreign minister also spoke to Emmanuel Bonne, diplomatic adviser to French President Emmanuel Macron, by telephone on Monday. Bonne said France wanted to coordinate and cooperate with China to ease tensions over Iran and to maintain the 2015 nuclear deal, according to a report by official Chinese news agency Xinhua.