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Tehran, Beijing to boost nuclear cooperation: Diplomat

Beijing Energy cooperation between Iran and China is important, and the two countries are to boost ties in all areas including peaceful use of nuclear energy, Iran's ambassador to Beijing said on Wednesday.

History of TehranBeijing ties goes back to over 2,500 years ago, Ali Asghar Khaji said at the Seminar on IranChina Civil Nuclear Cooperation under the JCPOA which is underway in the Chinese capital.

Describing the seminar as important, Khaji said Silk Road newly known as 'One Belt, One Road' project has significant impact on boosting trade exchange between the two countries.

Referring to mutual dependence and common interests and threats which are the basis of today's global relations, the ambassador said that Iran and China are cooperating to counter their common threats of terrorism and extremism.

As regional peace and stability are important for China, Iran as a country which is directly fighting terrorists in the region can play a leading role in ensuring trade security, the diplomat said.

About TehranBeijing commercial ties, Khaji said China has been Iran's number one trade partner for a decade.

He went on to say that the two countries have witnessed a 20 percent increase in their trade exchange which stood at 37 billion dollars in 2017.

Iran, as one of the world's richest countries in terms of oil and gas reserves and also as the most stable country in the Middle East region, can play a key role in providing energy for China and ensuring security of its transportation, the diplomat said.

Due to its strategic location, Iran can be a safe and short way for international trade exchanges, the ambassador said, adding Iran with its population of 80 million can be the best place for China to implement the 'One Belt, One Road' project and expand trade ties with the West.

It was in 2013 that the Chinese President Xi Jinping introduced the 'One Belt, One Road' initiative, a plan to link China with Asia, Africa and Europe via a network of ports, railways and roads.

Referring to international developments, the Iranian diplomat said Iran and China both believe that dialogue is the only way to solve disputes.

Both Iran and China, he added, are against the US illegitimate unilateralism and the domination of foreign powers over other states.

Referring to the 2016 visit of the Chinese president to Iran, the diplomat said the visit served to strengthen bilateral ties in various areas, adding Beijing is an influential member of the Group 5+1 with which Iran held intensive talks to reach the landmark nuclear deal in July 2015.

He further appreciated China's positive role in the nuclear talks.

Although the US President Donald Trump has threatened repeatedly to withdraw from the Iran deal, China has been active in supporting the international agreement and implementing it, the Iranian ambassador stressed.

Spokesman for Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Behrouz Kamalvandi on behalf of the country is taking part in IranChina nuclear seminar.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency IRNA

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