China says will continue to bat for Iran n-deal

Kigali (Rwanda), Jan 13 (IANS) China will continue playing a constructive role in maintaining and implementing the Iran nuclear deal, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Saturday.

Wang, who was on an official visit to Rwanda, held a phone conversation with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif. The two sides exchanged opinions on a statement regarding the Iran nuclear deal made by the US, Xinhua news agency reported.

US President Donald Trump said on Friday he will extend sanctions relief on Iran under the 2015 nuclear deal for the last time, threatening a US withdrawal from the landmark pact unless US Congress and European allies can fix the alleged “disastrous flaws”.

Calling it “a last chance”, Trump said in a White House statement that his country “will not again waive sanctions in order to stay in the Iran nuclear deal”.

Continuing to maintain and implement the Iran nuclear deal is the responsibility of all parties concerned, and is the common wish of the international community, said Wang, adding that this will help uphold international non-proliferation regime, maintain regional peace and stability as well as solve other hot issues in the world.

Implementation of the deal hasn’t been derailed, but will face some new complicating factors, said the minister.

He also called on Iran to stay calm and continue to fulfil obligations under the deal.

Trump has constantly criticised the pact inked between the six world powers — China, Russia, Britain, France, the US and Germany — and Iran in 2015, in which the West promised to relieve sanctions on Tehran in exchange for a halt in Iran’s efforts to develop a nuclear weapon.

Under the deal, the US President must sign a waiver suspending the US sanctions on Iran every 120 days.

As Trump agreed to the sanctions relief, US Department of Treasury on Friday said that it has imposed new sanctions on 14 individuals and entities over Iran’s alleged human rights abuses and ballistic missile programme, including head of Iran’s judiciary and the cyber unit of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps.

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