Araqchi: Iran, China utilizing new paths to reinvigorate economic ties

November 30, 2019 - 16:20

TEHRAN – The Iranian deputy foreign minister for political affairs said upon arrival at Beijing airport on Saturday that Tehran and Beijing are utilizing new techniques to enhance mutual economic cooperation.

“New paths have been found. We are returning to a stable economic situation regarding ties with China but we first should remove some barriers to upgrade economic relations between the two friendly nations,” Seyed Abbas Araqchi said. 

He further said that his visit to Beijing, which is taking place upon a request by his Chinese counterpart, is aimed at pursuing regular diplomatic consultation between the two sides regarding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

China is a party to the JCPOA, the official name for the 2015 nuclear deal. 

The other signatories to deal are Russia, the U.S. and the three European states of France, Britain and Germany. However, Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the agreement in May 2018 and reinstituted previous sanctions and imposed new ones. 

“Since the beginning of the JCPOA negotiations, we have held continuous consultation meetings with our friendly countries of China and Russia.”

‘Shocks of U.S. JCPOA exit have subsided’

Araqchi also said the economic shocks caused by the U.S. unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA has subsided, therefore Tehran and Beijing enjoy expanding relations in all arenas.

The top diplomat added, “The JCPOA as an important international deal is not now in a suitable condition and Iran does not enjoy its interest under the deal due to the U.S. withdrawal and lack of intention by the remaining signatories (France, Britani and Germany) to the deal to fulfill their undertakings.” 

Araqchi said Tehran is assessing the situation in consultation with Russia and China ahead of the joint commission meeting of the JCPOA.

“Following Iran’s decision to modify its obligations under the JCPOA, the deal now is in a situation based on which we must have more serious consultations with our friends (Russia and China). Next Friday the joint commission of the JCPOA, based on a preplanned program, is to be held, so we decided to review the committee’s agenda along with our friends before the Friday meeting to achieve a closer joint stance.” 

Iran has started to gradually reduce its commitments under the JCPOA in response to the abrogation of the deal by United States and a failure by the Europeans to honor their commitments 

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 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. 


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