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US needs to swiftly lift Iran sanctions, return to JCPOA compliance: China

China says the United States should immediately lift the sanctions it has re-imposed on Iran after Washington’s violation of a multilateral nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic and unilaterally leaving the deal.

Beijing made the call hours after the United States adopted a number of symbolic gestures with regard to the nuclear agreement but stopped short of removing the bans against Iran. 

In recent weeks, Tehran and Washington have been at loggerheads over which side should first return to compliance with the nuclear deal – officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which former US President Donald Trump withdrew from in 2018.

Iran says the US should first lift all the sanctions put in place under the Trump administration before the Islamic Republic returns to full compliance. Tehran believes it was the White House that complicated the circumstances by the pullout, which in turn prompted Iran to take remedial measures.

A year after the withdrawal, the Islamic Republic began a set of countermeasures that saw it gradually suspending its commitment to the JCPOA.

Since then, Tehran has consistently reassured the international community that it will return to full compliance as soon as other parties begin to honor their commitments.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry posted a message on Twitter in that regard on Friday. 

“The #US needs to return to the JCPOA unconditionally ASAP and lift all sanctions on #Iran,” the post read. It also urged Iran to consequently “resume full compliance with” the nuclear accord.

The #US rejoining the #JCPOA is the only correct approach to resolve the impasse on the Iranian nuclear issue. All parties should work together to implement agreements reached at last December’s foreign ministers’ meeting.— Spokesperson发言人办公室 (@MFA_China) February 19, 2021

“We call on all sides to remain calm, avoid escalating tension and leave room for diplomatic efforts.”

The ministry emphasized that the US return to the JCPOA would be the “only correct approach to resolve the impasse on the Iranian nuclear issue.”

It urged all the JCPOA parties to work for the implementation of agreements reached during a ministerial meeting of the E3/EU+2, France, Germany, Britain, China, Russia plus Iran, in December.

In that meeting, chaired by the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Joseph Borrell, the remaining member states to the nuclear deal reiterated commitment to preserving the agreement.

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