China to continue efforts to uphold nuclear deal: Beijing

November 27, 2019 - 16:0

TEHRAN – Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said on Tuesday that China will continue efforts to uphold the 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

“The Iranian nuclear issue has come to a critical stage. China maintains close communication with other parties to the JCPOA on upholding and implementing the deal. We will attend the upcoming Joint Commission meeting,” Chinese Foreign Ministry’s website quoted him as saying in a press conference.

The Joint Commission of the JCPOA is scheduled to convene on December 6 at the level of deputy foreign ministers.

Geng said, “We hope this meeting will help all parties consolidate the political consensus of upholding the JCPOA, work out fulfillment issues through consultation, and explore effective means of implementation, in particular with regards to restoring the balance of rights and obligations of all parties.”

Iran has started to gradually reduce its commitments to the JCPOA in response to the United States which abandoned the landmark deal in May 2018 and reinstituted sanctions.

So far, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) has taken four steps to cut back commitments in accordance with paragraph 36 of the JCPOA which “allows one side, under certain circumstances, to stop complying with the deal if the other side is out of compliance.”

On May 8, exactly one year after the U.S. abandoned the deal, Tehran announced that its “strategic patience” is over and began to partially reduce its commitments to the agreement at bi-monthly intervals.

In the first stage, Iran announced that it will not limit its stockpile of the nuclear fuel to 300 kilograms allowed under the deal. On that date (May 8) Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) said if the remaining parties to the JCPOA, especially Europeans, devise a mechanism to protect Iran from the sanctions’ effect in the two-month deadline it will reverse its decision.

But since European parties missed the deadline, on July 7 Iran announced that it has started enriching uranium to a higher purity than the 3.67%, thereby starting the second step.

Again, as Europe missed the second 60-day deadline, Iran moved to take the third step, removing a ban on nuclear research and development (R&D).

In the latest step, which was done on November 6, Iran started injecting uranium gas into 1,044 centrifuges at the Fordow nuclear site. It was done at the presence of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

This happened again after the Europeans failed to take a concrete steps to save the JCPOA.

Iran has said lifting ban on its oil export and financial transactions are the main conditions to reverse its decision.

NA

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