China, Iran foreign ministers meet amid Middle East… – News Stories

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BEIJING – Iran’s foreign minister held talks with his Chinese counterpart in Beijing on Friday amid heightened Middle East tensions and efforts by Tehran to keep its world markets open following the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

Mohammad Javad Zarif met with Wang Yi, whose country has been a major customer for Iranian oil, at the Diaoyutai state guesthouse.

The meeting came after Saudi Arabia accused Iran of being behind a drone attack that shut down a key oil pipeline in the kingdom. A local newspaper linked to the Al Saud royal family called Thursday for America to launch “surgical strikes” on Tehran.

The U.S. has also dispatched warships and bombers to the region to counter an alleged threat from Iran that has seen America order nonessential diplomatic staff out of Iraq.

President Donald Trump decided last year to withdraw the U.S. from the 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and world powers and imposed wide-reaching sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy.

Zarif arrived following a visit to Japan – like China, a major importer of crude oil from the Persian Gulf – as part of intense diplomatic efforts to salvage Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers at the center of a crisis unfolding between Iran and the U.S.

Zarif was quoted by Iran’s official IRNA news agency as chastising the international community, saying in Beijing that it has “mainly made statements, instead of saving the deal.”

After Trump pulled America out of the deal, other signatories – the European Union, France, Britain, China, Russia and Germany – have been trying to salvage it.

Iran recently warned it would resume enriching uranium at higher levels if a new deal isn’t reached by July 7.

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