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Iranian Foreign Minister Visits China To Discuss Nuclear Deal

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (file photo)

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is visiting Beijing to meet with Chinese leaders following U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal.

China's Foreign Ministry on May 13 said Zarif will "exchange views with relevant parties on the developments of the Iranian nuclear issue."

An Iranian spokesman said Zarif will also visit Moscow and Brussels to hold meetings during the current trip.

China, Russia, France, Germany, Britain, and the United States signed the 2015 accord, which provided Tehran with relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear program.

Trump long complained about the deal and said Tehran was violating the "spirit" of it by continuing to test ballistic missiles and by supporting militant activities in the region, leading him to withdraw from the pact on May 8.

The other signees had urged Washington to remain in the deal.

"China is highly concerned with the direction of the Iranian nuclear issue and is willing to maintain communication with all relevant parties, including Iran," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said.

Iran has claimed its nuclear program is for civilian purposes and denies supporting extremists in the region.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and AFP