China’s Wang calls on U.S. to rejoin JCPOA

July 3, 2021 - 21:41

TEHRAN - China’s foreign minister has underlined the need for the United States to make an earlier decision to return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. 

Wang Yi said it is most critical for the U.S. to make an earlier decision to rejoin the agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, according to the Japan Times.

Wang was speaking at the World Peace Forum organized by Tsinghua University and the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs, a government-run policy group.

The top Chinese diplomat described the U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA as the root cause for the current situation around the tattered pact.

“The U.S. unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA and its maximum pressure on Iran are the root causes of the current Iranian nuclear crisis,” said Wang. “As the saying goes, he who tied the bow should untie it.”

Former U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the JCPOA in May 2018 and imposed sweeping economic sanctions on Iran. Trump piled up sanctions on Iran in a bid to force Iran into making more concessions to the U.S. within the framework of a new nuclear deal. Trump, however, failed to get his deal, bequeathing his successor a litany of unresolved issues with Iran. The Biden administration has said it wants to open a new chapter with Iran and change tack, though it is yet to make any move to break with the Trump legacy on Iran.

Since April, diplomats from the remaining parties to the JCPOA and the U.S. have held six rounds of talks in a bid to revive the deal. They made significant progress but failed to get Iran and the U.S. back to full compliance with the nuclear deal.

The sixth round was concluded nearly two weeks ago. Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi, who leads the Iranian negotiating team in Vienna, issued a statement about the conclusion of the sixth round. 

Araqchi, while referring to the progress made in this round of negotiations, especially regarding the draft of negotiation texts, said that the remaining important issues require serious decisions in the capitals, especially in the negotiating countries. He called on the negotiating parties to make the necessary decisions with realism, seriousness and strong will to maintain and revive the JCPOA.

While stating that the sides are closer to an agreement than ever before, the deputy foreign minister expressed hope that an agreement could be reached in the next round of talks, although it could not be guaranteed.

The heads of the other delegations, while confirming the progress made, stressed the need for the participation of all parties with a constructive approach in creating the ground for reaching an agreement.

Araqchi has recently said that the U.S. needs to make difficult decisions regarding the JCPOA. 

“So far, six rounds of talks have been held with the P4+1, and we are almost close to the final stages. There is a series of issues that have been sufficiently negotiated and it is time for the countries to decide,” Iran’s top nuclear negotiator said. 

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has already made tough decisions. When the United States withdrew from the JCPOA and Iran decided to stay in the JCPOA. It was Iran's big and difficult decision that led to the preservation of the JCPOA so far. Now it is the turn of the opposing parties, and according to the negotiations we had, they must decide and reach a conclusion on the revival of the JCPOA in order to reach an agreement,” Araghchi told Iranian media after briefing lawmakers sitting on the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee on the Vienna talks last week.

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