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China opposes US threats at UN to pressure Iran

By WANG QINGYUN | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2020-07-15 08:07
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Foreign Ministry spokeswomen Hua Chunying. [Photo/]

The international community should jointly oppose Washington's attempt to have the United Nations Security Council extend or reimpose sanctions on Iran, Beijing said on Tuesday.

It should also urge the United States to comply with the Iran nuclear deal and the related UN Security Council resolution, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement on the fifth anniversary of the deal's conclusion.

The deal, or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, has become a key element of the international nuclear nonproliferation regime as well as an important and positive factor for maintaining international and regional peace and stability, Hua said.

The deal, a good example of using multilateral approaches to solve tough issues, is at risk of being further undermined as the US seeks an extension of the Security Council arms embargo on Iran and threatens to reinstate sanctions on the country, Hua said.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pushed the Security Council on June 30 to extend the arms embargo, Reuters reported.

Pompeo also said earlier in June that the US "has the unilateral ability to snap back sanctions into place "if the council doesn't pass a resolution presented by the US to extend the arms embargo on Iran.

The deal was struck in Vienna on July 14, 2015, between Iran and China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the US and the European Union. It was endorsed by the council's Resolution 2231.

According to the resolution, the arms embargo is scheduled to expire in October.

The US, however, withdrew from the deal in May 2018 and reimposed unilateral sanctions on Iran. It also "thwarted by every means other parties' implementation of the agreement", which was a "clear violation" of the resolution and led to continued tensions, Hua said.

China believes that the right path of addressing the Iranian nuclear issue lies in maintaining and implementing the Iran nuclear deal, Hua said, adding that Iran's scaling back of compliance with the deal is a result of "maximum pressure" exerted by the US.

Hua said parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action "should strengthen dialogue and consultation within the framework of the (JCPOA) Joint Commission, seek a solution to the compliance dispute in a step-by-step and reciprocal approach, and restore the balance of rights and obligations under the JCPOA". They should also support the International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran in strengthening dialogue and cooperation, she said.

Maintaining peace

China has always aimed at maintaining the international nuclear nonproliferation regime and peace in the Middle East and maintaining multilateralism and the authority of the UN as well as the international order based on international law, Hua said.

It has contributed to reaching the Iran nuclear deal by actively promoting peace talks and putting forward its proposal at a critical stage, and implemented the deal by leading the conversion of the Arak heavy water reactor, Hua said.

China will always "stand on the right side of history" by working with other parties to the deal to promote a political and diplomatic resolution, Hua also said, adding that China will firmly safeguard its own legitimate interests.

Li Shaoxian, head of the China-Arab Research Institute, Ningxia University, said the US withdrawal from the deal created a "very negative impact". Since the US began applying maximum pressuring on Iran in May 2019, tensions in the region have soared, Li said.

China, which played "an irreplaceable role" in reaching the deal, is a positive factor for maintaining it, which is "for all the world to see".

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