China reiterates call for removal of all relevant sanctions on Iran, third parties

China has reiterated its call for the removal of all sanctions imposed on Iran and third parties, as negotiations to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal move ahead in the Austrian capital, Vienna.

Wang Qun, China’s envoy to the United Nations and other international organizations in Vienna, told reporters on Tuesday that the talks on the fate of the deal, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), have been “beneficial” and that they have entered a new stage.

Wang made the remarks following the latest meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission, which was chaired by the deputy secretary general and political director of the European External Action Service, Enrique Mora, and attended by diplomats from Iran, China, Russia, France, Britain, and Germany.

The US has not been part of the talks since it chose not to be a party to the JCPOA as of 2018 when former US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the deal and began to impose harsh economic sanctions on Iran and those states that cooperated with the country.

However, American diplomats led by US special envoy for Iran Robert Malley have held discussions with the other signatories to the JCPOA – except for Iran – in Vienna on the sidelines of the meetings of the Joint Commission, which is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the agreement.

Wang said China welcomes the Joint Commission’s intensive talks through the two expert-level working groups tasked with removing the US sanctions and coordinating Iran’s return to its nuclear commitments under the accord.

“We see productive work from the Joint Commission under the leadership of EU colleagues through their two processes, not only the working group process but also their proximity talks with the United States over the past few days,” the Chinese diplomat noted.

He said the discussions led to a clearer understanding and laid a solid foundation for the next stage of the talks, adding that China firmly supports the resumption of the JCPOA’s implementation by the US and Iran “as soon as possible.”