China has played a uniquely constructive role in the historic nuclear deal concluded on Tuesday in Vienna, Austria, between Iran and six world powers, according to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

The long-awaited agreement with China, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and the United States, known as the P5+1, aims to limit Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for the gradual suspension of sanctions.

“Today is a historical day,” Wang told reporters after the agreement, as posted on the Foreign Ministry’s website. […] Wang expressed that China has participated in the whole process of the negotiation in a constructive manner. And China’s uniquely constructive role has won praise from all the parties. But he also said that there is still much to do in implementing the deal, and he hopes that all the parties will earnestly implement their commitments.

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Some experts also believe the agreement will enable a revitalized, sanction-free Iran to boost trade and cooperation with China. The sanctions have slashed the Middle East country’s oil exports and crippled its economy.

Shada Islam, policy director of the Brussels-based think tank Friends of Europe, said China could help Iran mitigate the impact of the sanctions by providing short-term “emergency aid”. This would help to meet shortfalls in the health sector and supply urgently needed essential items.

“In the long run, the focus will of course be on the development of Iran’s infrastructure and oil and gas sector,” Islam said. “Given its location and diverse regional interests, Iran will also inevitably play a crucial role in China’s (new) Silk Road proposal.”

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