China, Iran meet amid efforts to preserve nuclear deal

Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with China’s Wang Yi. (File/AFP)
Updated 19 February 2019
0

China, Iran meet amid efforts to preserve nuclear deal

  • Germany, Britain, France, China, Russia and the EU have been trying to preserve the 2015 deal
  • The deal was meant to keep Tehran from obtaining a nuclear weapon but the US withdrew from it last year

BEIJING: The foreign ministers of China and Iran met in Beijing on Tuesday amid efforts to preserve the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran.
No details were immediately released about the discussions between China’s Wang Yi and Iran’s Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is leading a delegation that includes parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani and the ministers of finance and petroleum, as well as the CEO of the country’s central bank.
Germany, Britain, France, China, Russia and the European Union have been trying to preserve the 2015 deal meant to keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon in exchange for sanctions relief after the unilateral withdrawal of the US last year.
Zarif told the Munich Security Conference on Sunday that a barter-type system known as INSTEX set up last month by France, Germany and Britain to allow businesses to skirt direct financial transactions with Iran, and thereby evade possible US sanctions, fell short of commitments to save the nuclear deal.
Zarif addressed the conference a day after US Vice President Mike Pence prodded Germany, France and Britain to follow Washington in withdrawing from the deal and to “stop undermining US sanctions.”
Prior to Larijani’s departure from Tehran, China’s official Xinhua News Agency quoted him as saying Iran and China have “close and amicable” relations in diverse areas, and that both sides have enjoyed the support of each other in the international arena.


Arab anger over ‘theft of occupied Golan Heights’

Updated 26 March 2019
0

Arab anger over ‘theft of occupied Golan Heights’

  • Israel seized part of the Golan during the 1967 Six-Day War, subsequently annexing it in 1981
  • US President Trump officially recognized Israel's sovereignty of the Golan Heights on March 25, 2019

JEDDAH: Arab states on Monday condemned US President Donald Trump’s recognition of the occupied Golan Heights as Israeli territory.

The decision “does not change the area’s status” as illegally occupied territory, Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said.

Breaking decades of international consensus, Trump signed a proclamation at the White House on Monday recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the border area that Israel seized from Syria in 1967. 

Syria said the decision was a blatant attack on its sovereignty. 

“Trump does not have the right or the legal authority to legitimize the occupation,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

Opposition chief Nasr Al-Hariri said Trump’s decision would “lead to more violence and instability, and it will have negative effects on efforts to engineer peace in the region.”

Lebanon said the move “violates all the rules of international law” and “undermines any effort to reach a just peace.”

“The Golan Heights are Syrian Arab land, no decision can change this, and no country can revisit history by transferring ownership of land from one country to another,” the Foreign Ministry said.