China's ambassador in Iran says Beijing’s mediation between Iran and Saudi Arabia stems from it desire to solve global security issues, not self interest.
In an exclusive interview published Monday by Tasnim news agency, affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards, Ambassador Chang Hua spoke about the reestablishment of relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, the US troops in the region, and prospects of ditching the dollar in bilateral transactions among other things.
No Chinese media or Iranian media released a transcript of the interview, therefore Iran International cannot independently verify the readout published by the IRGC outlet.
Throughout the interview, Chang used every opportunity to gloat over Beijing’s role in the rapprochement between the arch-rivals, the Islamic Republic and the Al Saud and also reiterating that the US is in decline.
The long-term strategy for long-term peace and stability in the world is to take a new security path with dialogue instead of confrontation, and a win-win policy instead of a zero-sum strategy, the Chines diplomat said.
Chinese Ambassador To Iran Chang Hua during an interview on April 10, 2023
The talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia in Beijing have provided new examples and ideas for solving global security issues, he was quoted as saying, promising that China will continue to do its best to provide necessary support to Iran and Saudi Arabia and help promote security and stability in the Middle East.
The United States and Western countries make the best use of their hegemony of public opinion, and manipulate contentious issues through deceptive propaganda, he said, claiming that continuous interventions in the Middle East is their tactic to maintain their hegemony.
Chang said that “the Beijing agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia” was welcomed by the international community but Washington accused China of “entering the Middle East for energy,” which show the evil intentions of the US. “Foreign interference is an important factor that weakens the security and stability of the Middle East... The US has committed serious human rights violations and many other crimes in the region, which has caused permanent and irreparable damage to the countries and people of the region,” Tasnim quoted Chang as saying.
He also urged the international community, especially influential countries outside the region, to respect the sovereignty of the countries of the Middle East and not to interfere in their internal affairs.
“As a good friend of the Middle East countries, China has no personal interest in the region, and has always been committed to the settlement of hot political issues,” he claimed, according to Tasnim.
Following the China-brokered deal to restore ties, the foreign ministers of Iran and Saudi Arabia met in Beijing for the first formal meeting in more than seven years on April 6. After years of hostility that fueled conflicts across the Middle East, Tehran and Riyadh agreed to end their diplomatic rift and re-open embassies in a major deal facilitated by China last month.
Critics in the US have blamed the Biden Administration for pushing Saudi Arabia toward China by pursuing the restoration of the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran and losing the trust of Saudi leaders, as the great power in the region. The US believes China has a role to play in telling Iran to end its “destabilizing activities,” the State Department said as Iran’s president visited Beijing in mid-February.
However, as Iran moves closer to Russia and China, leading Iranian lawmakers and pundits have warned the government against over-reliance on Moscow and Beijing.
Earlier in the month, a moderate Iranian news website claimed that the Islamic Republic’s frozen assets in China are worth between $22 and $30 billion, suggesting that amid US sanctions even Tehran’s close ally is not willing to pay back its debts.