China vows members will uphold Iran nuclear deal despite US ‘sabotage’

By Antonio Sanchez Solis

Vienna, Sep 1 (efe-epa).- A Chinese representative said Tuesday that members of the Iran nuclear deal will uphold the agreement despite “sabotage” by the United States.

The world powers that signed the landmark accord with Tehran in 2015 met in Vienna to discuss the future of the deal for the first time after the US reimposed sanctions on Iran.

Chinese representative Fu Cong said after the meeting that the remaining countries, namely France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China, remain committed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

As part of the pact, Iran agreed to limit its nuclear program so as not to manufacture weapons in the short term.

Fu said the member states agree that the US, which pulled out of the agreement in 2018, has no legal basis to try to activate the mechanism in the JCPOA to impose new sanctions on Iran.

He added that China and the international community will make every effort to stop the US in its bid “to sabotage or even kill the JCPOA”.

“The U.S., even though it is a superpower, is just one country so other countries are moving on,” he continued.

Fu said that a balance must be found between Iran returning to full compliance with its obligations and receiving the economic benefits set out in the 2015 agreement.

Iran began to violate the limits imposed by the agreement on its nuclear program a year ago after US President Donald Trump abandoned it and unilaterally reinstated sanctions on Tehran.

“We encourage Iran to return to full compliance,” Fu added.

He said that Tehran has vowed that it will backtrack on its violations as soon as it is guaranteed economic revenue that has been blocked by the US sanctions.

He added that Russian and Chinese companies could join the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges, which was designed by the European Union to circumvent the US economic sanctions.

Russian ambassador to the UN in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov tweeted that the meeting “demonstrated that its participants are fully committed to the nuclear deal and are determined to do their best to preserve it”.

Helga Schmid, secretary-general of the European External Action Service who chaired the meeting, Tweeted afterward: “Important to see that participants are united in resolve to preserve the Iran Deal and find a way to ensure full implementation of the agreement despite current challenges.”

Iran recently announced after months of prevarication that it would agree to a request for international inspectors to visit two facilities suspected of conducting military nuclear experiments 15 years ago.

Tehran launched this show of transparency after a visit to the country last week by Rafael Grossi, director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN agency responsible for verifying technical compliance with the agreement.

Fu said the JCPOA has the backing of the United Nations and should be maintained regardless of who is in the White House.

He added that the member countries were not prepared to wait until the outcome of the US presidential elections in November.

Trump’s contender, Democratic candidate Joe Biden has said he is in favor of the deal. EFE-EPA

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