This July 14 marks the fifth anniversary of the conclusion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). On June 7, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General and the rotating president of the UN Security Council, elaborating on China’s position and proposition on the Iranian nuclear issue. Today I would like to take this occasion to reiterate China’s firm support for the JCPOA.
Five years ago, the P5+1 (China, Russia, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States), the European Union, and Iran reached the historic JCPOA in Vienna. This important outcome of multilateral diplomacy was then endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231. The JCPOA has become a key element of the international nuclear non-proliferation system, an important positive factor in maintaining regional and global peace and stability, and good practice of resolving regional hotspot issues through multilateral approaches.
Unfortunately, the US has in recent years been upholding unilateralism, renouncing its international obligations, and withdrawing from treaties and organizations. It withdrew from the JCPOA in May 2018 and thwarted in every means other parties’ implementation of the agreement. Such clear violation of the UNSCR 2231 has led to continued tension over the Iranian nuclear issue. At present, the US attempts to further undermine the JCPOA by pushing for the extension of Security Council arms embargo against Iran and threatening to activate the rapid reinstatement of sanctions mechanism.
China believes that preserving and implementing the JCPOA is the right way to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue. Iran's scaling back of compliance is the result of the maximum pressure exerted by the US. Parties to the JCPOA should strengthen dialogue and consultation within the framework of the Joint Commission, seek a solution to the compliance dispute in a step-by-step and reciprocal approach, and restore the balance of rights and obligations under the JCPOA. The parties should support strengthened dialogue and cooperation between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran in order to properly resolve the safeguards issue as soon as possible. At the same time, the international community should jointly oppose the US pushing the Security Council to extend or reinstate sanctions against Iran and urge the US to return to the right track of compliance with the JCPOA and UNSCR.
On the Iranian nuclear issue, China's unwavering aim is to maintain the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and peace and stability in the Middle East, and to uphold multilateralism, the authority of the UN, and the international order based on international law. In the process of negotiating the JCPOA, China actively promoted peace talks, put forward China's proposal at a critical moment and made due contributions to reaching the agreement. In the implementation of the agreement, China has conscientiously fulfilled its obligations and led the Arak heavy water reactor conversion with positive progress, which has become a major highlight. No matter how the international situation evolves, China will always stand on the right side of history and work with other parties to the JCPOA to continue advancing the political and diplomatic resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue. At the same time, we will firmly safeguard our legitimate rights and interests.