China says ‘firmly opposes’ US unilateral sanctions on Iran

Tasnim – China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said his country “firmly opposes” Washington’s unilateral sanctions against Iran, adding that such practices by the US have ratcheted up tensions on Tehran’s nuclear issue.

“The JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) is a multilateral agreement endorsed by the UN Security Council. It should be implemented fully and effectively as it is vital for the international non-proliferation regime and peace and stability in the Middle East. China firmly opposes the unilateral sanctions and so-called “long-arm jurisdiction” that the US imposes on Iran, and regrets that such practices have escalated tensions on the Iranian nuclear issue,” Shuang said on Monday during his weekly press briefing, according to Chinese Foreign Ministry’s official website.

“As we emphasized on many occasions, normal cooperation between various parties and Iran under the framework of international law is completely legitimate, reasonable and lawful and must be respected and protected. The arrangements regarding nuclear projects in the JCPOA reflect a balance of Iran’s obligation on nuclear non-proliferation and its right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, which serves the interests of all parties including the US,” he added.

“China applauds Iran’s faithful implementation of the JCPOA so far. We will continue to work with all parties to uphold and implement the JCPOA, safeguard the international non-proliferation regime, peace and stability in the Middle East and the lawful and legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies.”

The administration of US President Donald Trump on Friday imposed sanctions on Iran’s export of enriched uranium, but at the same time renewed three key waivers that will allow its European allies, Russia and China to cooperate with the Islamic Republic on civil nuclear program.

The US administration also said in a statement on April 22 that, in a bid to reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero, buyers of Iranian oil must stop purchases by May 1 or face sanctions. The move ended six months of waivers, which allowed Iran’s eight biggest buyers — Turkey, China, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan — to continue importing limited volumes.

Iran plans to unveil its countermeasures in response to a move made by the United States last year to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear agreement between Tehran and world powers. The plans will be announced on Wednesday, which marks the first anniversary of the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal.