TEHRAN, Dec. 8 -- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani met with Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi on bilateral ties and the Iranian nuclear issue here on Sunday.
Iran wants to cement ties with China by expanding cooperation in all fields and working more closely with China on regional issues, Rouhani said, recalling a consensus between him and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization held in Bishkek in September.
Developing friendly bilateral ties is mutually beneficial to China and Iran and conducive to peaceful development in the Middle East, said Yang, adding that China attaches long-term importance to relations with Iran and wants to promote bilateral ties through deepening exchanges and cooperation in line with the consensus reached between the two countries' leaders.
Rouhani reassured Yang that Iran's nuclear program is peaceful and his country is committed to solving the nuclear issue through talks, and that Iran is ready to dissolve the world's concerns on its nuclear program under the framework and principles of international relations.
Iran wants to join hands with all sides in facilitating the implementation of the Geneva interim deal it struck with the P5+1 group -- the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany -- in late November so that the next stage of talks can be initiated as soon as possible, Rouhani said, adding Iran appreciates China's just position and endeavor to facilitate the talks and maintain peace.
Yang said China supports Iran's rights to the peaceful use of nuclear technology, and that the rightful demands and reasonable concerns of Iran should be taken into consideration. He called on all sides to seek peaceful solution to the nuclear issue via dialogue under the principles of mutual respect and taking reciprocal measures.
China also supports Iran's efforts to improve relations with the international community by showing more openness, Yang said, adding the Geneva interim deal was an important step toward a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear issue, and all sides should work to facilitate the implementation of the deal and keep the momentum of the talks.
Yang called on Iran to seize the opportunity and continue to participate in the talks with flexibility and pragmatism so as to seek a solution most acceptable to all. He also reaffirmed China's commitment to playing a constructive role in the pursuit of a comprehensive final solution to the Iranian nuclear issue.
In addition, Rouhani and Yang exchanged opinions on the crises in Afghanistan and Syria.
Also on Sunday, Yang met with Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif, and Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council on bilateral ties, the Iranian nuclear issue and other regional issues. The two sides agreed to work closer in promoting peace and stability in concerned countries and the region as a whole.