With the recent Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilisations in Beijing, mutual learning between Asian countries has caught the world’s attention. What is Iran’s take on civilisation exchanges?

Meanwhile, amid Middle East tensions, what is Tehran’s expectation on the future of Iran nuclear deal and what role can China play? the local newspaper reporter talked to Mohammad Keshavarz-Zadeh, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to China, on the sidelines of the Tsinghua Symposium 2019: BRI & Building a Community of Shared Future for Humankind – Asian Perspective on May 19, 2019.

Reporter: What is your understanding of mutual learning between Asian civilisations? In particular, how should Iran and China learn from each other?

Keshavarz-Zadeh: Iran and China are both Asian civilisations that have a lot of experience that can be shared with each other by their connectivity and people-to-people relations. The Silk Road and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) can provide a platform for exchanges and a good road map for building a common future. If a common future is wanted, we need to share experiences with each other.

Reporter: How can mutual learning between Asian civilisations offer solutions for global issues?

Keshavarz-Zadeh: Asia is a big continent. Asians can share their experience with people in other continents, and there should be more connection among Asian countries. It can provide a ground for a better future and prosperity.

Reporter: How can Iran and China deepen cooperation in the future, especially under the BRI framework?

Keshavarz-Zadeh: Iran is located in the middle of the BRI connecting the East and West Asia and can serve as a bridge between the two. China’s projects and infrastructure development can help Iran build a good future.

Reporter: What’s your view on the prospect of the Iran nuclear deal?

Keshavarz-Zadeh: The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) comes from the long negotiations between Iran and P5+1 (the UN Security Council’s five permanent members plus Germany). But the US withdrew from the deal and put pressure on Iran with its long-arm jurisdiction. This is not acceptable by Iran, but we didn’t violate the deal. Under the JCPOA, we have carried some measures, and have told other parties if they want Iran to remain in the deal, Iranians should benefit from the JCPOA economic parameters. So, we should wait and see what happens.

Iran set a two-month period for dialogue. We didn’t close the door. We are people of negotiation and dialogue. However, we cannot talk with the US as they violated the code verified by the UN Security Council according to the Resolution 2231. So we should wait and see what the European countries and the remaining parties will do to save the deal.

Reporter: What do you think is China’s role regarding the nuclear issue?

Keshavarz-Zadeh: China supports the JCPOA. Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visited China on Friday (May 17) and met with the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. China firmly supports the JCPOA and we appreciate China’s role in this.