Press TV – China has praised the European Union’s “determination” to keep a historic 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran alive by establishing a mechanism to facilitate trade with the country despite the “toughest ever” sanctions imposed by the United States against the Islamic Republic.
The European signatories to the nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), issued a joint statement on Thursday, announcing the launch of a long-awaited direct non-dollar payment mechanism meant to safeguard their trade ties with Tehran in the face of the sanctions.
Following months-long preparations, foreign ministers of France, Germany and Britain finally unveiled the mechanism, officially called the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX), after a summit in Bucharest, Romania.
On Friday, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang highly appreciated the efforts made by European countries to uphold the JCPOA after the US withdrawal from the agreement.
“It (INSTEX) fully demonstrated the EU’s determination to uphold multilateralism. China firmly supports the continued cooperation between the EU and Iran to put the mechanism into operation as soon as possible and open it to third parties so as to promote normal economic and trade cooperation between the international community and Iran,” he said.
The Chinese spokesperson also threw his country’s weight behind the 28-member EU’s “political and diplomatic efforts” to safeguard the Iran nuclear deal.
Geng said the JCPOA is an important outcome of multilateralism and an international agreement approved by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231.
He stressed the importance of “fully and effectively” implementing the JCPOA, which is conducive to peace and stability in the Middle East, the global nuclear non-proliferation, and is also in the common interests of the international community.
“We hope that relevant parties can proceed from the overall and long-term interests, stick to the direction of political and diplomatic settlement and jointly uphold this deal,” Geng said.
President Donald Trump of the United States withdrew Washington in May from the landmark Iran nuclear agreement, reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries in 2015, and decided to re-impose unilateral sanctions against Tehran.
Under the deal, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions.
Trump’s administration announced re-imposition of the “toughest” sanctions ever against Iran’s banking and energy sectors with the aim of cutting off the country’s oil sales and crucial exports.
Despite Washington’s withdrawal, Iran has not left the deal yet, but stressed that the remaining signatories to the agreement have to work to offset the negative impacts of the US pullout for Iran if they want Tehran to remain in it.