China playing constructive role in Vienna talks: diplomat

TEHRAN, Dec. 27 (MNA) – Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng says that China plays a unique and constructive role in the Vienna talks on the JCPOA.

"We are playing a unique and constructive role on hotspot issues, such as Afghanistan, the Iranian nuclear issue, and the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, in order to safeguard regional peace and stability," said Le Yucheng in an interview with CGTN.

Earlier on Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian in reaction to the announcement of the date of a new round of talks in Vienna said, "China welcomes the upcoming eighth round of negotiations on resuming compliance with the JCPOA in Vienna. We hope all parties will adopt a serious attitude, focus on outstanding issues, and continue to advance the negotiations to achieve early results."

"I’d like to reiterate that, as the culprit of the Iranian nuclear crisis, the US should overhaul its erroneous policy of “maximum pressure” on Iran, and lift all illegal sanctions on Iran and “long-arm jurisdiction” on third parties. On this basis, Iran should resume full compliance. China will continue to play an active and constructive role, and work with all parties to bring the JCPOA back onto the right track at an early date. Meanwhile, we will firmly safeguard our legitimate rights and interests," Lijian added.

Former US President Donald Trump unilaterally left the JCPOA in May 2018 and re-imposed the anti-Iran sanctions that the accord had lifted. He also placed additional sanctions on Iran under other pretexts not related to the nuclear case as part of his “maximum pressure” campaign.

Following a year of strategic patience, Iran decided to let go of some of the restrictions on its nuclear energy program, resorting to its legal rights under the JCPOA, which grants a party the right to suspend its contractual commitments in case of a non-performance by the other side.

The US administration of President Joe Biden had voiced a willingness to compensate for Trump’s mistake and rejoin the deal, but it has retained the sanctions as leverage.

Envoys from Iran and the P4+1 group of countries — Britain, France, Russia, and China plus Germany — began negotiations in the Austrian capital in April in a bid to resurrect the JCPOA.

The first round of the talks under Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi’s administration started on November 29 following a five-month pause.

During the discussions, which concluded on December 17, Iran presented two draft texts which address, separately, the removal of US bans and Iran’s return to its nuclear commitments under the JCPOA.

The next round of the talks is expected to resume on December 27.

ZZ/FNA14001005000873

News Code 182211

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