"Competition, as you know, does define our relationship with China, but we do have, in some cases, rather narrow areas of tactical alignment", State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.
Trump denounced the 2015 accord, which saw Iran granted relief from worldwide sanctions in exchange for accepting limits on its nuclear programme, which Western powers feared would lead to it acquiring an atomic weapon. "It's a positive step, especially if it moves the ball forward on that mutual return to compliance that we've talked about for a number of weeks now".
President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 accord, which he consistently criticized as a "bad deal". He reimposed harsh economic sanctions on Iran that had been lifted as part of the agreement, and added more than a thousand new measures.
In response, Iran began exceeding uranium enrichment limits set in the accord.
The State Department also confirmed Thursday that the USA had granted Iraq an extension to a sanctions waiver allowing it to import Iranian gas.
Friday will mark the first meeting of the so-called "joint commission" on the Iran nuclear accord since US President Joe Biden took office.
Regarding the agreement between Iran and China, the current USA sanctions against Iran remain in place and the U.S. will consider any attempt to evade sanctions, he also claimed. USA and Iraqi officials are resuming a strategic dialogue soon that places energy near the top of priorities and Washington hopes "will ultimately allow Iraq to develop its energy self-sufficiency, and we hope to end its reliance on Iran", Price said.
Last week, the Chinese and Iranian foreign ministers signed a 25-year cooperation agreement between the two allies in a ceremony carried live on Iran state television.
Since then, the administration has made clear that it would participate in "indirect" talks, through the Europeans.
"What we had heard was that they were interested first in a series of initial steps, and so we were exchanging ideas on a series of initial steps", said one USA official quoted by Reuters. "We won't comment on any specific bilateral discussions in this regard, though", he said.