Iranian, Chinese Foreign Ministers Discuss Nuclear Deal, Coronavirus In Munich - Tehran

Iranian, Chinese Foreign Ministers Discuss Nuclear Deal, Coronavirus in Munich - Tehran

TEHRAN (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 15th February, 2020) Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, held talks on Friday on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference to discuss, among other things, the international nuclear deal on Iran and the deadly coronavirus outbreak, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said.

"During the meeting on the sideline of the Munich Security Conference, the foreign ministers of Iran and China exchanged opinions on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the assassination of Gen. Qasem Soleimani [former commander of elite Quds Force of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps] and the Ukrainian airplane," the ministry said on its Telegram channel.

According to the statement, the novel strain of coronavirus, dubbed COVID-2019, got to be another discussion item - Zarif thanked his Chinese counterpart for cooperation in evacuating Iranian students from the central Chinese city of Wuhan, the outbreak's epicenter, and commended the Chinese government's efforts in fighting the virus.

The deadly coronavirus strain was first detected in the central Chinese province of Hubei in December and has since spread to 24 other countries. As the virus' spread continued accelerating, the Chinese government shut down several cities and many countries arranged for evacuation of their citizens from infection hotbeds, primarily Wuhan.

There have been no officially reported cases of infection in Iran so far, but media have speculated about a COVID-2019-related death and several suspected cases. Iran was among the countries that had suspended air traffic with China and quarantine residents with a travel history in China.

The nuclear deal was signed in 2015 by Iran, China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union. The US unilaterally withdrew from it in 2018 and imposed sanctions on Tehran. On January 5, Iran announced that it would abandon its own remaining portion of commitments under the JCPOA, specifically on acceptable levels of uranium enrichment, prompting the European signatories to threaten with triggering the dispute resolution mechanism.

On a separate vector of escalation, Iran conducted airstrikes against US military facilities in Iraq that same week in response to Soleimani's assassination by Washington. On January 8, the Iranian forces mistakenly hit a Ukrainian passenger jetliner with close to 180 people on board, having confused it with a US retaliatory missile.

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