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Beijing Backs Diplomatic Resolution of Iran Nuclear Issue (financialtribune.com)

A Chinese diplomat said Beijing would continue to work for a political and diplomatic resolution of issues surrounding the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. 
To this end, “China will maintain close communication with relevant parties, facilitate peace [and] promote talks,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a regular press conference this week, the ministry’s website reported.  
The JCPOA was signed between Iran and the world powers, but the United States pulled out in 2018 and restored tough sanctions on Tehran. 
Other parties remained committed and pledged to compensate for the economic damage of US sanctions to keep the deal alive. 
Iran, however, remained deprived of the benefits promised under the JCPOA for a year and was compelled to take “remedial measures” as foreseen in the deal by gradually reducing its compliance.  
The European signatories, in particular, failed to deliver on their promises despite their feeble efforts. 
They stepped even further from their commitments in late June by submitting a resolution to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Board of Governors about Iran’s denial of access to two sites that the United Nations nuclear watchdog suspected of past nuclear activity.  
The proposal was adopted by the 35-nation board with seven abstentions two oppositions from China and Russia, both parties to JCPOA. 
Tehran rejected the resolution, saying any interference in Iran’s cooperation with IAEA regarding the nuclear safeguards of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is against the terms of JCPOA. 
Subsequently, Iran referred the non-compliance of France, Britain and Germany to the deal’s Joint Commission for resolution through the Dispute Resolution Mechanism set out in paragraph 36 of the agreement. 
The Chinese diplomat said the US withdrawal and its maximum pressure on Iran is the root cause for the tension in the current Iranian nuclear situation. 
Zhao stressed that the JCPOA is an important outcome of multilateral diplomacy endorsed by a UN Security Council resolution.
“It is an important pillar for the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and peace and stability in the Middle East, and an important part of the international order based on international law,” he said. 
He hoped that the parties involved will resolve their differences through dialogue and consultation within the framework of the JCPOA’s Joint Commission and do their best to safeguard and implement the accord. 
“China hopes that all parties concerned can adopt an overall and long-term perspective, make efforts to meet each other halfway … [and] restore the balance of rights and obligations under the JCPOA,” he said. 
Beijing had said following the adoption of the IAEA resolution that it does not approve of actions that “artificially exacerbate tensions and escalate the situation.”
“China supports the IAEA in playing its role in an objective, professional and neutral manner in verifying Iran’s compliance with its safeguards obligations. We are against politicizing its work,” Zhao had said at the time. 
He had also recalled the agency’s explicit statement that the safeguards issue is “neither urgent nor poses a proliferation risk,” underlining Iran’s clear wish to resolve issues through dialogue with the agency.

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