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At UN, call to restore nuclear plan for Iran

By MINLU ZHANG at the United Nations | | Updated: 2024-06-25 09:43
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Fu Cong, China's permanent representative to the United Nations, calls for the resumption of talks to restore implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran's nuclear program at a Security Council meeting on Monday. [Photo by Minlu Zhang/]

The Chinese ambassador to the United Nations on Monday called for the resumption of talks to restore implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran's nuclear program.

Negotiations to resume compliance with the JCPOA will "bring positive energy and new hope to the Middle East and the world, which are both facing ongoing conflicts and instability", Fu Cong, China's permanent representative to the UN, told a Security Council meeting.

Iran signed the JCPOA in July 2015, agreeing to put some curbs on its nuclear program in return for removal of sanctions on the country.

The joint commission consists of the current JCPOA parties: China, France, Germany, Iran, Russia and the UK, with the European Union acting as its coordinator. The United States was initially a party to the JCPOA but withdrew in May 2018.

Fu confirmed the EU's efforts and said that as the coordinator, it "has mediated to promote the resumption of talks and is expected to continue playing a key coordinating role".

"The US unilaterally withdrew from the comprehensive agreement and imposed maximum pressure on Iran, leading to the prolonged nuclear crisis," Fu said, urging the US to take responsibility and take measures to create conditions for the agreement to be restored as soon as possible.

The US' unilateral sanctions on Iran "harm mutually beneficial cooperation between countries, violate international fairness and justice, and severely undermine international law and relations", Fu said. He urged the US to lift "illegal" sanctions on Iran, as well as its "long-arm jurisdiction" measures on third-party entities and individuals.

"This will help restore Iran's right to engage in external economic and trade activities, create conditions for all parties to advance normal economic and trade cooperation with Iran, motivate Iran, and pave the way for advancing the negotiation process," Fu said. "Pressuring Iran will not help the matter, and communication and dialogue are the right approach," he emphasized.

"Upholding the agreement helps maintain regional peace and stability, aligning with the common interests of regional countries," he said.

"Certain countries should stop using the Iranian nuclear issue to advance geopolitical agendas and refrain from linking the nuclear negotiations with other issues, as this will only disrupt the negotiation process and undermine diplomatic efforts regarding the Iranian nuclear issue," Fu said.

Rosemary DiCarlo, UN under-secretary-general for political and peacebuilding affairs, told the meeting that restoring JCPOA implementation has "remained unfortunately elusive".

She also noted that the US has not returned to the plan nor has it lifted or waived the unilateral sanctions reimposed on Iran after its withdrawal from the JCPOA. Also, Iran has not reversed any of the steps it has taken since May 2019 that are inconsistent with its nuclear-related commitments, DiCarlo said.

She called on all parties to the agreement, as well as the US, to pursue all avenues for dialogue and cooperation.

In light of the "deeply troubling situation in the Middle East", Stavros Lambrinidis, head of delegation of the European Union, called on all parties to the JCPOA and the United States to sustain dialogue and address without delay the Iranian nuclear program.

"Nuclear diplomacy must be restored," Lambrinidis said. He also called on Iran to fully cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency and adhere to the JCPOA commitments to rebuild trust.

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