(File photo: MFA)
The United States' attempt to ask the United Nations (UN) to re-impose sanctions on Iran was a "pure political manipulation out of its own political purposes," Zhao Lijian, spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a regular press conference on Friday.
Zhao's remarks came after the US asked the UN Security Council to launch the snapback mechanism that will allow the reimposition of sanctions on Iran.
As the US has unilaterally withdrawn from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), it has given up its rights as a party to the agreement and the country's request to initiate the snapback mechanism had no basis, Zhao said.
Participants to the JCPOA and most members of the Security Council believe that the request made by the US had no legal foundation, and the snapback mechanism has not been activated, the spokesman said.
The US sent a letter to the UN Security Council on Thursday requesting the initiation of the snapback mechanism, which will allow a participant to the JCPOA to seek the reimposition of sanctions on Iran.
The move has also drawn opposition from major European countries. France, Germany and UK issued a joint statement on Thursday, saying that they do not support the US in seeking to reimpose sanctions on Iran.
Last Friday, the UN Security Council rejected a draft resolution proposed by the US, which would extend the current arms embargo against Iran.
The Chinese spokesman pointed out that only one out of 15 UN Security Council countries besides the US voted in favor of the draft. China and Russia vetoed the text, and the remaining 11 Security Council members, including the European allies of the US, abstained.
China urged the US to stop its unilateral move, Zhao said, adding that the US attempt to destroy the JCPOA will never succeed.
"The Iran nuclear issue should be solved through equal-footed dialogue and candid negotiations, rather than sanctions or military threats," said Zhao.
"China is always willing to work with all relevant parties to find a proper solution, and will push for the settlement of the Iran nuclear issue through political and diplomatic means," the spokesperson added.
(Compiled by Liu Xiaochi)