China to host Iran leader amid nuclear deal upheaval

Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) holds talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) at the Diaoyutai state guesthouse in Beijing on May 13, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 28 May 2018
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China to host Iran leader amid nuclear deal upheaval

  • China, Russia and European powers, all of which signed the 2015 Iran nuclear accord, are scrambling to save the pact following the US president’s decision to quit the agreement
  • Chinese businesses are expected to step up activities in Iran to fill the void left by the exit of US companies and the possible withdrawal of European rivals amid punitive measures enforced by the US

BEIJING: Iran’s president will attend a summit with his Chinese and Russian counterparts next month, officials in Beijing said Monday, amid efforts to salvage the nuclear deal thrown into upheaval by Donald Trump.
China, Russia and European powers, all of which signed the 2015 Iran nuclear accord, are scrambling to save the pact following the US president’s decision to quit the agreement and reinstate sanctions.
China’s President Xi Jinping will meet Iran’s Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meeting from June 9-10 in Qingdao, said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
Russian President Vladimir Putin will also attend the summit, he added.
Wang did not include the nuclear deal in a readout of the summit’s formal agenda.
But Beijing, which is already Iran’s top trade partner and one of its biggest buyers of crude, has signalled that it intends to keep working with the Islamic regime despite the US move.
Chinese businesses are expected to step up activities in Iran to fill the void left by the exit of US companies and the possible withdrawal of European rivals amid punitive measures enforced by the US.
Iran is currently an observer member of the SCO, though it has long sought full membership.
The regional bloc focusing on security and trade also includes four ex-Soviet central Asian republics and two new members, Pakistan and India.


US-backed Syria offensive kills 35 Daesh fighters: monitor

Updated 20 October 2018
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US-backed Syria offensive kills 35 Daesh fighters: monitor

BEIRUT: An offensive by US-backed forces against Daesh’s last redoubt in eastern Syria killed 35 militants on Saturday, a Britain-based war monitor said.
Twenty-eight Daesh members were killed in air strikes by the US-led coalition around the town of Hajjin, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Another seven militants were killed in ground fighting with the Syrian Democratic Forces, who launched a coalition-backed offensive against the Daesh-held pocket in the Euphrates Valley last month.
Fighting has killed 414 militants and 227 SDF fighters in total since the assault began on September 10, the Observatory said.
Coalition air strikes on Daesh targets in another part of the pocket on Thursday and Friday killed at least 41 civilians, 10 of them children, the monitor said.
Daesh overran large swathes of Syria and neighboring Iraq in 2014, proclaiming a “caliphate” across the land it controlled.
But the militant group has since lost most of its territory to various offensives in both countries.
In Syria, its presence has been reduced to parts of the vast Badia desert and the Hajjin pocket in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor near the Iraqi border.
Syria’s war has killed more than 360,000 people since it erupted in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.