The United States wants to convey to Iran through China that it does not wish to see an escalation of the Middle East conflict, the White House said Thursday.
US President Joe Biden met China's President Xi Jinping on Wednesday and according to Reuters Washington urged Beijing to use its influence to discourage Iran from taking actions that might aggravate the Israeli-Hamas conflict.
China is Iran's main oil customer despite US sanctions, and lends political support to the Islamic Republic. Tehran has a clear policy of maintaining strong ties to Beijing and Moscow as a counterweight to the United States after four decades of anti-American posturing.
John Kirby, the White House's Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council, was questioned after Biden’s meeting with Xi about whether China had given the US assurances about the discussions regarding Iran.
"We certainly would encourage them to use those lines to reiterate to the Iranians that we don't want to see a deepening or an escalation of the conflict in the region," Kirby told Reuters.
Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, during an interview with CBS on Wednesday concerning the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, stated: "We did not want this crisis to escalate."
He also denied Tehran’s involvement in an alleged Houthi drone attack in the Red Sea on Wednesday.
In a similar vein, Reuters also reported that the Iranian regime claims it was unaware of Hamas' invasion of Israel on October 7. Hamas leaders later denied the report on their official Telegram channel and in an interview with Iranian State Iranian state news agency IRNA.