China's Xi and Iran's Raisi meet for first time at summit
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"The Islamic republic of Iran will not back down in any way in the face of US bullying," Raisi said according to a presidency statement, referring to Washington's sanctions on Tehran, mostly for its nuclear program.
The meeting, on the sidelines of a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Uzbekistan, comes days after the European Union warned that negotiations to revive the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers are at a "stalemate".
China is one of the key members of the multilateral dialogue -- alongside France, Germany, Britain, Russia and the United States -- that is trying to revive the troubled 2015 nuclear deal.
The Iranian president also called for strengthening economic relations with China in the fields of "oil and energy, transit, agriculture, trade and investment."
"The SCO needs to adopt new solutions and special measures to deal with unilateralism and cruel sanctions including forming lasting trade between the organisation's member states," he added.
Iran, one of four SCO observer states, applied for full membership in 2008, but its bid was slowed by UN and US sanctions imposed over its nuclear programme.
Several SCO members did not want a country under international sanctions in their ranks -- a situation that now applies to Russia as well.
At a conference in Tajikistan in September last year, members of the bloc endorsed Iran's future membership.