TEHRAN -- Chinese President Xi Jinping has called his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi to stress that Beijing will unwaveringly push forward with its good relationship with Tehran, no matter how the international and regional situation evolves.
Xi pointed out Wednesday that since the establishment of China-Iran diplomatic ties 50 years ago, bilateral relations have stood the test of international changes, with the friendship between the people of the two countries growing ever stronger.
In the face of a complicated situation that combines profound global changes and a pandemic both unseen in a century, China and Iran have stood together and helped each other, he said.
While working together against COVID-19, the two countries have strengthened solidarity and coordination, made positive progress in practical cooperation, effectively cemented strategic mutual trust, and firmly defended international fairness and justice, he added.
Xi also said China appreciates Iran’s active efforts to develop relations with China, and stands ready to work with Iran to push for steady and sustained development of China-Iran comprehensive strategic partnership.
The two sides, he said, should continue to support each other on issues related to each other’s core interests and major concerns.
“China firmly supports Iran in safeguarding its state sovereignty and national dignity, and opposes external interference,” he said, according to the website of the Chinese foreign ministry.
“China is willing to work with Iran to enhance experience sharing on state governance, strengthen cooperation in pandemic response, advance their respective development, and promote the people’s well-being in both countries.”
The plan for China-Iran comprehensive cooperation has opened up broader prospects for deepening bilateral win-win cooperation, it cited Xi as saying, adding the two sides should tap deeply into their potential, actively promote Belt and Road cooperation, and produce more results in practical cooperation.
China, he said, supports Iran’s legitimate concerns on the comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue, and stands ready to strengthen coordination and cooperation with Iran on regional affairs, so as to jointly safeguard common interests and promote regional security and stability.
Raisi expressed warm congratulations on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China and the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Iran and China.
He said it is a foreign policy priority and focus of the Iranian government to steadfastly develop a more robust comprehensive strategic partnership with China.
The Iranian side, Raisi said, thanks China for providing Iran with valuable support to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, appreciates China’s fair positions on international and regional affairs, including the Iranian nuclear issue.
“Iran stands ready to work with China to intensify strategic communication, enhance strategic mutual trust, deepen bilateral cooperation and multilateral coordination, and jointly oppose unilateralism, hegemonism and external interference.”
The Iranian side also firmly supports China’s positions on issues concerning Taiwan, Xinjiang and Hong Kong, and staunchly opposes certain countries using the issue of COVID-19 origins tracing as a pretext to suppress and contain China, he added.
President Raisi further said China’s Belt and Road Initiative brims with strategic vision, and Iran is willing to actively participate in it.
Talks With President Putin
Separately, President Raisi Raeisi and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin expressed readiness to contribute to the establishment of peace and security in Afghanistan.
The two presidents discussed the situation in Afghanistan, along with a range of other issues, during a telephone conversation on Wednesday.
“The establishment of security, peace and tranquility in Afghanistan has always been emphasized by the Islamic Republic, and we believe that all active Afghan groups should work together to establish stability in the country as soon as possible and make the U.S. withdrawal a turning point for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan,” Raeisi told Putin.
He said that strengthening relations with Russia is a central plank of Iran’s foreign policy.
“We seek to remove obstacles in relations and open new windows for cooperation, and are determined to increase the volume of bilateral trade with Russia,” he noted.
Emphasizing that Iran is determined to promote friendly and comprehensive relations between the two countries in a way that will set a successful model for neighborly relations, Raeisi said, “We have a serious will to finalize the comprehensive document of Iran-Russia cooperation as soon as possible.”
He also thanked Russia for its initiative to launch the process of Iran’s membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and described it as a step towards strengthening very close relations between the two countries.
On Iran’s nuclear program, the president said the Islamic Republic, as a party to international treaties, including the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), is serious about restoring the rights of its people to pursue peaceful nuclear activities and to enjoy the benefits and achievements of the technology in all peaceful areas.
Raeisi lashed out at the U.S. for seeking to use political and media hype to stand as a plaintiff instead of a criminal, and blaming Iran for Washington’s own violations of its obligations and its oppressive and illegal actions.
Regarding the situation in Afghanistan, he expressed Iran’s readiness for any cooperation for the establishment of peace in the war-ravaged country, and said, “The successful experience of Iran-Russia cooperation in the fight against takfiri terrorism in Syria has opened new windows for the two sides to increase Tehran-Moscow interaction.”
For his part, Putin said that his country attaches great significance to the promotion of ties with Iran, citing remarks by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei that a high level of mutual trust and a high economic capacity in the two countries can lead to tangible results in bilateral areas.
He also welcomed signing of a comprehensive bilateral cooperation agreement between the two countries.
On Vienna talks aimed at the revival of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Putin said the agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, “cannot be held hostage to problems not related to the nuclear deal.”
During the conversation, “prospects for resuming the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the Iranian nuclear program were [also] discussed,” according to a Kremlin statement.
Besides, the statement said, the two presidents discussed preparations for the upcoming SCO summit “taking into account Iran’s application filed for full membership in this organization.”
“.. Much attention was paid to the events taking place in Afghanistan, [and] readiness to contribute to the establishment of peace and stability in this country was expressed,” the Kremlin statement added.
Putin and Raisi also talked about Moscow-Tehran cooperation in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.