Beijing aided in brokering the deal that Iran historically struck with six different world powers on Sunday aimed at easing Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for a loosening hold of international sanctions on Iran’s economy, SCMP reports.
The deal is being considered a historic breakthrough between the US and Iran after more than three decades of estrangement between the nations.
China is one of the five UN Security Council committee members who along with Germany negotiated the deal for Tehran to limit uranium enrichment to low levels.
Analysts say China pulled off a delicate balancing act in the negotiations between Iran, seen by Beijing as a long-term partner, and the US.
Hua Liming, the former Chinese ambassador to Iran, told state media that China acted as a helping broker. “When the two parties came across irresolvable problems, they would come to China, which would ‘lubricate’ the negotiation and put things back on track,” he said.
US President Barack Obama said that the deal will cut off the possibility of a nuclear weapon coming out of Tehran. According to SCMP, China “played a supporting role in talks”.
“The US and Europe all had a lot of sanctions against Iran, which they are accusing of making nuclear weapons. China has been out of the dispute,” said Jin Canrong of Renmin University’s school of international studies.
CNN reports that as of now, the agreement is “breathing room” to buy time for Iran and other powers to come to a more comprehensive agreement.
“It’s a little too early to break open champagne bottles and put on the party hats on this one,” Middle East diplomatic expert Aaron David Miller was quoted as saying in the report. “Its success hinges on whether or not it leads to a bigger agreement to put Iran’s nuclear weapons program to rest.”
For China, the regional stability is beneficial because the country can enjoy more secure national resources coming out of Iran, Xiao Xian, an expert in international politics at Yunnan University, told SCMP.
[Image via Xinhua]