By staff and agency

China blames U.S. for causing tension with Iran, says JCPOA is ‘irreplaceable’

July 16, 2019

Chinese Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Tuesday that U.S. should stop exerting pressure on Iran and blamed Washington for causing the current tensions.

According to AP, he said the U.S. should create the conditions for a political and diplomatic settlement of the issue.

He described the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as “irreplaceable”.

U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew Washington in May 2018 from the JCPOA, which was reached between Iran and six world powers in 2015.

Afterwards, Washington re-imposed sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under the deal and ordered new ones.

On May 8, exactly one year after the U.S. withdrew from the multi-nation nuclear agreement, Iran announced a partial withdrawal from some aspects of the pact, saying that the country would no longer adhere to some of the limits on its nuclear activities. It also threatened to step up uranium enrichment if an agreement is not made within 60 days to protect it from the sanctions’ effects. 

In follow-up to that deadline, on July 7 Iran announced that it has started enriching uranium to a higher purity than the 3.67% as the Europeans missed the 60-day deadline to devise a concrete mechanism to protect the country from the U.S. sanctions.

Ben Rhodes, former President Barack Obama’s adviser, has said that Trump quit the JCPOA because Obama negotiated it.

“Did anyone really need a leaked document from the UK Ambassador to know that Trump pulled out of the Iran Deal because Obama negotiated it?” he tweeted on Sunday.

On Sunday, the Daily Mail published memos by Kim Darroch, the former British ambassador to the U.S., in which he had written Trump seemed to be discarding the nuclear deal for “personality reasons,” as the deal had been agreed to by Obama.

Darroch said the Trump administration was “set upon an act of diplomatic vandalism” in its decision to abandon the JCPOA.

NA/PA

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