China has denounced the US withdrawal from Iran’s nuclear deal and its maximum pressure policy against Tehran as a “wrong behavior” that constitutes the root cause of tensions with the country.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang made the remark in a press conference in the capital, Beijing, on Tuesday.
“It is China’s consistent belief that the US unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA and maximum pressure campaign against Iran is the root cause of the current crisis. The US should quit such wrong behavior to make room for diplomatic efforts and create conditions for de-escalation,” Geng said, referring to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which was signed between Iran and six world states — namely the US, Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China.
The administration in Washington unilaterally walked out of the JCPOA in May last year and reinstated all the anti-Iran sanctions that it had lifted as part of the landmark accord.
“In the meantime, parties including the European side and Iran should exercise restraint, remain committed to full and effective implementation of the agreement, and resolve differences within the JCPOA,” Geng added.
Pointing to a recent report by the Iranian Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Chinese official said his country “supports the IAEA in fulfilling its duty in an objective and impartial manner and will continue to work with other parties for the political and diplomatic settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue.”
Iran is gradually removing limits on its uranium enrichment activities in response to the US abrogation of the nuclear agreement and re-imposition of “toughest” sanctions on Iran.
The IAEA confirmed in its report on Monday that Iran has begun enriching uranium at Fordow nuclear site, and that its enriched uranium stockpile has continued to grow.
Tehran remained fully compliant with the JCPOA for an entire year as confirmed by the IAEA in several reports, waiting for the co-signatories to fulfill their obligations by offsetting the impacts of Washington’s bans on the Iranian economy.
As the European parties failed to do so, Tehran moved in May 2019 to suspend its JCPOA commitments in 60-day stages under Articles 26 and 36 of the deal covering Tehran’s legal rights.
Last week, Iran began injecting gas into centrifuges at the Fordow plant as part of its fourth step away from the JCPOA under the supervision of the IAEA.
The E3/EU claimed that Iran’s action is “inconsistent” with the deal’s provisions on Fordow and “has potentially severe proliferation implications. It represents a regrettable acceleration of Iran’s disengagement from commitments under the JCPOA.”
Tehran has repeatedly said its measures are “reversible” if the European sides shield Iran from the impact of the US sanctions.