China does not approve of further tension over Iran nuclear program: Foreign Ministry

Press TV – Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian says his country opposes any measure leading to exacerbation of tensions over the Iranian nuclear program in the wake of the recent adoption of an anti-Iran resolution by the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

“China supports the IAEA in playing its role in an objective, professional and neutral manner in verifying Iran’s compliance with its safeguards obligations. We are against politicizing its work,” Zhao said at a regular press conference on Monday.

He pointed to an explicit announcement by the IAEA that the “safeguards issue is neither urgent nor poses a proliferation risk” and welcomed Iran’s readiness to resolve issues through dialogue and said, “Under such circumstances, China does not approve of actions that artificially exacerbate tensions and escalate the situation.”

He expressed hope that all relevant parties to the international 2015 nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), will remain calm, exercise restraint, and support the settlement of issues between Iran and the UN nuclear agency through dialogue and cooperation.

“On the Iranian nuclear issue, China’s unwavering aim is to uphold the JCPOA, multilateralism, peace and stability in the Middle East, and the international order based on international law,” the Chinese diplomat said.

He expressed Beijing’s readiness to work closely with the sides in order to find a “political and diplomatic” way to solve issues pertaining to Iran’s nuclear program.

The Board of Governors at the UN’s nuclear agency on Friday passed the anti-Iran resolution, put forward by Britain, France and Germany – the three European signatories to the JCPOA.

The resolution, the first of its kind since 2012, urges Iran to provide the IAEA inspectors with access to two sites that the trio claims may have been used for undeclared nuclear activities in the early 2000s.

The Islamic Republic rejects any allegations of non-cooperation with the IAEA, insisting that it is prepared to resolve potentially outstanding differences with the IAEA.

Russia and China, two other permanent members of the UN Security Council and signatories to the JCPOA, voted against the resolution.

The Chinese diplomatic mission to the IAEA also warned on Twitter that the resolution could have “huge implications” for the future of the JCPOA.

Iran’s reduction of JCPOA compliance result of US maximum pressure

In response to a question about the E3 foreign ministers’ last week statement on the JCPOA, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman once again stressed the importance of upholding and implementing the nuclear deal as the “only right way” to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue.

Zhao added that Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had recently sent letters to the UN secretary general and the rotating president of the Security Council to emphasize that the JCPOA, endorsed by Security Council Resolution 2231, is an “important outcome of multilateral diplomacy and a key element in international nuclear non-proliferation system.”

“Iran’s reduction of compliance is a result of the US maximum pressure. We urge the US to abandon unilateral sanctions and ‘long-arm jurisdiction’, and return to the right track of observing the JCPOA and the Security Council resolution,” the Chinese diplomat said.

He highlighted the significance of earnestly implementing all provisions in Resolution 2231 and said, “In the meantime, all parties to the JCPOA should take concrete measures to restore the balance of rights and obligations under the agreement.”

Pointing to the withdrawal of the US from the JCPOA, he said Washington “has no right to ask the Security Council to launch the snapback mechanism that allows the re-imposition of sanctions.”

He reminded the trio’s foreign ministers that they have reaffirmed their commitment to keeping the JCPOA in place and implementing Resolution 2231.

“They believe that the strategy of maximum pressure will not effectively address shared concerns about Iran’s nuclear program. As any unilateral attempt to trigger UN sanctions snapback would have serious adverse consequences in the UNSC, they would not support such a decision which would be incompatible with current efforts to preserve the JCPOA,” Zhao pointed out.

He vowed that Beijing would work with the three European parties to the JCPOA and the larger international community to stick to the nuclear agreement and Resolution 2231, uphold multilateralism, and work for the political and diplomatic settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue.

“In the meantime, we will resolutely safeguard our own legitimate rights and interests,” he added.