Chinese president visits Iran for first time in 14 years

TEHRAN - Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Tehran on Friday to hold talks with Iranian officials about future economic and political cooperation, Iran’s state TV reported.

The report quoted Ebrahim Rahimpour, Iran’s deputy foreign minister for Asia and Pacific affairs, as saying the Chinese president is in Tehran with a high-ranking political and economic delegation at the invitation of his Iranian counterpart President Hassan Rouhani.

“This is the first visit by a Chinese president in 14 years,” Rahimpour said. “During his one-day official trip, he is expected to visit Iran’s supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Rouhani.”

The television report said total trade between Tehran and Beijing stood at some $52 billion dollars in 2014. However, that figure dropped in 2015 due to decreasing global oil prices.

China is one of six world powers — along with the US, Germany, France, the UK and Russia — involved in the recently implemented Iranian nuclear deal, which lifted international sanctions against Tehran in exchange for limitations on the Iranian nuclear program.

He is the first leader of one of those six negotiating countries to visit the Islamic Republic since the deal was finalised.

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