Iran, China slam US unilateralism, vow to boost ties June 15, 2019 https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20190615-iran-china-slam-us-unilateralism-vow-to-boost-ties/ Iran and China on yesterday criticised unilateral policies of the US during a regional security summit in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek, as reported Speaking at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said: “Pressures that the US administration is putting on Iran, China and other countries are aimed at dominating the entire Asia and the world.” He expressed willingness to play a vital role in China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative which aims to connect China to Central and South Asia and onward to Europe through a series of roads and railway networks. “Given its exceptional geographical location, Iran is ready to play an important role in the Belt and Road Initiative and willing to continue cooperation with China in energy fields and the development of infrastructures […],” he said. Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Beijing maintains strategic relations with Tehran. “Beijing will continue and develop its strategic relations with Iran,” Xi said, adding that Washington’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal was a major source of tension in the region. Tensions between Iran and the US have mounted steadily since 2017, when Trump withdrew his country from a landmark nuclear agreement between Tehran and the P5+1 group of nations (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany). Since then, the Trump administration has also re-imposed sanctions on Iran’s banking and energy sectors, while Iran has threatened to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz to US oil shipments.