US must first lift Iran sanctions to return to JCPOA: China
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi says the United States should first lift all the sanctions it has imposed on Iran in order to return to the 2015 nuclear deal as negotiations continue in the Austrian capital to revive the agreement, which was abandoned by the US three years after its conclusion.
“To return to the deal, lifting sanctions on Iran first is the natural thing to do,” Wang said in an address to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva on Friday, referring to the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed between Iran and major world powers.
He stressed the need to resolve non-proliferation issues through negotiations and lambasted the US unilateral bullying acts which are the “root cause” of issues pertaining to the Iranian nuclear issue.
“As the negotiations for the United States and Iran to resume compliance with the agreement are now in the final sprint, parties concerned need to make a political decision as quickly as possible and redouble diplomatic efforts to bring the JCPOA back on track,” the top Chinese diplomat, whose country is a party to the deal, stated.
He once again emphasized that the JCPOA has been endorsed by the UN Security Council Resolution 2231 and is “an important outcome of multilateral diplomacy and a key pillar of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and peace and stability in West Asia.”
Since April, representatives from Iran and the P4+1 group of countries have been holding talks in Vienna aimed at revitalizing the JCPOA and bringing the US back to compliance.
Elsewhere in his speech, the Chinese foreign minister voiced his country’s objection to establish a multilateral dialogue platform for regional security in the Persian Gulf region and build step by step a framework for collective, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security in West Asia.
“China supports building a West Asian zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction and stands ready to work toward that end,” Wang pointed out.
Non-stop efforts underway to revive JCPOA in all aspects: EU’s Borrell
EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell told a UN Security Council meeting on Thursday that non-stop efforts to revive the JCPOA continue unabated in all its aspects, including nuclear activities and the lifting of sanctions.
He added that he is in an active engagement with all the main players in the nuclear issue as the EU delegation leading the negotiations in Vienna is making all-out efforts.
“We are making progress but the negotiations are intense on a number of issues including on the precise sequencing of steps,” Borrell said.
All negotiators hope sixth round of Vienna talks will be final: Russia envoy
Russian ambassador to international organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov said on Friday that the next meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission would start this weekend.
“It will mark the beginning of the sixth round of the #ViennaTalks on restoration of the nuclear deal. Will it be the final round? Nobody knows but all negotiators hope so,” Ulyanov said in a post on his Twitter account.
Ulyanov, who is the head of the Russian delegation to the Vienna talks, told RIA Novosti that there are several more issues that are of fundamental importance for both Washington and Tehran, adding that it is still difficult to predict the development of the situation.
“The assessments of the prospects sound different; the restrained statements of both the Iranian side and the American side draw attention to themselves. This is due to the fact that there are still a number of issues that are of fundamental importance for these two negotiators,” he said.
He noted that it is a “thankless job” to predict how events will develop but emphasized that the sides have an attitude to achieve a successful conclusion of the negotiations.
“And how long it will take – we’ll see,” the top Russian diplomat added.