Apr 21, 2021 13:10 UTC
  • 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.

He 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.”

Tuesday marked the last day of negotiations this week, as the sides decided to go back home for consultations before resuming the talks next week.

EU: Progress made over last two weeks

Following the conclusion of the meetings, Mora took note of the progress made over the last two weeks, saying in a tweet that much more hard work is still needed.

He thanked all the parties involved in the talks for their commitment to restoring the historic agreement.

Mora also said in a statement that the Joint Commission decided to create a third expert working group to examine “the possible sequencing of respective measures.”

“Participants took stock of progress made in the ongoing discussions in Vienna regarding specific measures needed in terms of sanctions lifting and nuclear implementation for the possible return of the US to the JCPOA and its full and effective implementation,” he said.

Iran’s top negotiator Abbas Araqchi said the discussions were “progressive” despite “the existing difficulties”. Araqchi, however, warned that Tehran will stop the negotiations if the other sides move toward “excessive demands, wasting time and irrational bargaining.”

Russia: Max pressure policy totally failed

Russia’s Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov also said the so-called maximum pressure policy has “totally failed” since it only prompted Iran to accelerate the development of its nuclear program.

“Some people oppose #JCPOA restoration. But is there a realistic alternative?” Ulyanov asked via Twitter.

“No.” he continued. “Maximum pressure policy totally failed and just prompted development of the Iranian nuclear programme beyond 2015 parameters.”