US return to Iran nuclear deal only proper approach to resolve deadlock: China

China describes the US’ potential return to the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and world countries as the only means of resolving the deadlock that has been born out of Washington’s illegal moves in violation of the accord.

The nuclear issue is at a critical stage, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said during a press briefing in Beijing on Thursday, adding, “China holds that the return of the United States to the JCPOA is the only correct approach to resolve the impasse on this issue.”

The JCPOA stands for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the official name of the agreement that came about in Vienna that year between Iran and the P5+1 group of states — the US, the UK, France, Russia, and China plus Germany. It lifted nuclear-related economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic that voluntarily changed some aspects of its nuclear energy program in return.

Under its former president Donald Trump, though, the US left the nuclear deal and reinstated the sanctions. Washington then pressured its allies in the pact — the UK, France, and Germany — into abiding by the economic bans and stopping their trade with Tehran.

The Islamic Republic, however, managed to withstand the economic pressure and even began some nuclear countermeasures to retaliate for America and its allies’ violations of the JCPOA.

The latest round of Iran’s countermeasures came when the country’s parliament set February 23 as the deadline beyond which the Islamic Republic would no longer adhere to the Additional Protocol of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The protocol that Tehran has been observing on a voluntary basis, allows intrusive and short-notice inspections of the country’s nuclear program.

Hua urged those who rounded up during the latest ministerial meeting of the JCPOA’s member states to begin pressing the US into resuming its obligations towards the agreement and resolving the standoff.

“All parties should act with greater urgency, work together to implement the consensus reached at the foreign ministers’ meeting last December, and push for the unconditional return of the United States to the JCPOA as soon as possible and the lifting of all sanctions on Iran. On its part, Iran should resume full compliance with the JCPOA,” Hua noted.