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China urges US, Iran to avoid further escalation

WASHINGTON (AP) — China’s top diplomat has warned the United States against opening a “Pandora’s box” in the Middle East after a recent flare-up in tension between Washington and Tehran.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi called on both countries to avoid escalating the situation, echoing earlier statements by Chinese officials following last week’s apparent attacks on two oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf.

Wang spoke on Tuesday at a news conference in Beijing after meeting his Syrian counterpart, Walid al-Moallem.

Iran has denied a U.S. accusation that it was behind the attacks, which hit Norwegian and Japanese ships off Iran’s coast. Each vessel was loaded with petroleum products, and one was set ablaze.

China is the world’s largest buyer of Iranian oil and has maintained its support for the Iran nuclear deal.

Associated Press

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