During his forthcoming one-on-one with Xi, Biden “will underscore our desire for China to make clear in its burgeoning relationship with Iran that it is essential that Iran not seek to escalate or spread violence in the Middle East”, a senior administration official was cited as telling ‘Politico’.
Furthermore, a warning is to be conveyed that any “provocative actions” on the part of Tehran will trigger an immediate US response, the official added.
The relationship between China and Iran will be the focus of “tough conversations” between Biden and Xi, another senior administration official was quoted as telling reporters.
The Biden administration is increasingly concerned that Iran’s ally – the Lebanon-based Hezbollah group – could wade into the continuing flare-up in the Middle East by opening a second front against Israel, the report stated citing Washington officials.
Beijing and Tehran have been enhancing their ties, having signed a long-term comprehensive strategic cooperation agreement in March 2021. For more than a decade, Beijing has been Tehran’s largest trading partner. In March, China facilitated an agreement normalizing relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Iran has warned of “far-reaching consequences” if Israel does not stop its attacks on Gaza.
“If the Israeli apartheid’s war crimes and genocide are not halted immediately, the situation could spiral out of control & ricochet far-reaching consequences,” Iran’s Mission to the United Nations cautioned.
Amid the conflict in the Gaza Strip between Israeli troops and Hamas, tension has flared along the border between the Israeli-occupied territories and Lebanon, with exchanges of fire between Israeli forces and Hezbollah.
Hezbollah and the Israeli regime have been exchanging sporadic fire since October 8, a day after the Zionist regime started bringing the Palestinian territory of the Gaza Strip under a relentless and indiscriminate war.
The Lebanese resistance movement has announced the group’s “guns and rockets” were with Palestinian fighters, and stressed that it will intensify its attacks against Israel if necessary.
Gallant has recently told senior Israeli officials that Hezbollah is “ten times stronger than Hamas”, Israel’s Kan public broadcaster has reported.
President Joe Biden and his aides have advised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to launch pre-emptive strikes against Hezbollah in Lebanon, The New York Times daily newspaper has reported.
Hezbollah has already fought off two Israeli wars against Lebanon in 2000 and 2006, forcing a humiliating retreat upon the Tel Aviv regime’s military in both cases.
The resistance movement has vowed to resolutely defend Lebanon in case of any Israeli-imposed war.