Chinese leader Xi Jinping pledges support for Iran over nuclear issue

Ebrahim Raisi in first state visit to China by an Iranian president in more than 20 years

Chinese President Xi Jinping welcomes Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi to Beijing on Tuesday. AFP
Powered by automated translation

Chinese President Xi Jinping has pledged to support Iran in its push to find a proper resolution to its nuclear issue.

Mr Xi told Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on Tuesday that Beijing backed the protection of Tehran's rights and the early resolution of the issue as Mr Raisi began a three-day state visit to China.

It is the first state visit to the country by an Iranian president in more than 20 years.

“China will continue to constructively participate in the negotiations on resuming Iran's nuclear agreement,” Mr Xi said.

Mr Xi hailed Beijing's “solidarity” with Iran during the meeting.

“In the face of the current complex changes in the world, times, and history, China and Iran have supported each other [and] worked together in solidarity and co-operation,” state broadcaster CCTV quoted him as saying.

The Iranian leader received a red carpet greeting, with 21 cannons fired and the national anthems of Iran and China played during the welcoming ceremony, Iranian state media Irna reported.

The visit is designed to boost trade and economic ties between the two countries.

The Iranian delegation in Beijing included Mr Raisi's central bank chief and ministers for oil and mining.

He is expected to sign a number of “co-operation documents”, Tehran has said.

Iran and China have strong economic ties, particularly in energy, transit, agriculture, trade and investment.

In 2021, the countries signed a 25-year “strategic co-operation pact”.

Both countries face pressure from western nations over their positions on Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which started about a year ago, and Iran is already under strict US sanctions due to its nuclear programme.

Iran has emerged as one of Russia's few remaining allies as Moscow has been pushed deeper into international isolation over the invasion.

Updated: February 14, 2023, 12:46 PM