U.S. leans on China to use influence with Iran to cool Middle East tensions

US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (R) attends a bilateral assembly with Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao (entrance L) on the Ministry of Commerce in Beijing on October 9, 2023.

Andy Wong | Afp | Getty Images

BEIJING — U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer mentioned Monday the congressional delegation to China requested Beijing to use its influence with Iran to stop the Israel-Hamas battle from spreading.

“A bunch of us made the request that China use its influence on Iran to not enable a conflagration to unfold,” Schumer advised reporters in a briefing.

“They have influence with Iran in many various methods,” he mentioned. “And we requested them to do all the pieces they might to not have Iran unfold this conflagration by way of themselves and thru Hezbollah.”

“The Chinese mentioned they might ship the message to the Iranians,” U.S. officers mentioned on the briefing, in response to a query.

Schumer and 5 different U.S. senators representing each the Republican and Democratic events met with Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier on Monday, amongst different high-level conferences.

The assembly lasted about 80 minutes, Schumer mentioned, about twice what had been anticipated.

“We’re deeply saddened by the civilian casualties and oppose and condemn acts that hurt civilians,” Mao Ning, a spokesperson for China’s international ministry mentioned in a daily press convention Monday, in accordance to an official English transcript.

“We oppose strikes that escalate the battle and destabilize the area and hope combating will cease and peace will return quickly,” Mao mentioned.

When requested about China’s communications with Iran, she mentioned: “We would love to as soon as once more name on related events to instantly cease the combating, defend civilians and keep away from additional deterioration of the state of affairs.”

The transcript and a statement Sunday from the ministry didn’t point out the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip and has been designated a terrorist group by the U.S. and the European Union.

The unprecedented nature of Hamas’ assault raised issues that Iran might have been concerned, given Tehran’s long-time assist for Hamas and its trigger.

Ghazi Hamad, a Hamas spokesman, told the BBC that the group had direct backing for the assault from Iran. The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that Iranian safety officers helped with the planning and authorised the assault at a gathering in Beirut final Monday. Three U.S. officers advised NBC News they had been unable to corroborate the Journal account.

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