UNITED NATIONS, June 30 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese envoy on Thursday urged the United States, as the party responsible for the Iranian nuclear crisis, to respond positively to the reasonable demands of Iran.
"The United States should face up to its responsibility, correct its mistake once and for all, make a political decision as soon as possible, and take concrete measures to respond positively to the reasonable demands of Iran," Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations, said while addressing a Security Council briefing on the Iranian nuclear issue.
Iran and the United States held indirect talks on Tuesday and Wednesday in the Qatari capital of Doha to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which started to fall apart after Washington's pullout from the deal in May 2018.
"The previous U.S. administration, in disregard of objections from the international community, unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA, and launched a maximum pressure campaign against Iran. We must admit that is the root cause of the current Iranian nuclear crisis," Zhang said.
He noted that the United States, while repeatedly stating its readiness to seek a return to compliance, is nevertheless escalating sanctions against Iran and third parties even during the process of resumed talks.
"Doing so is obviously detrimental to any positive progress in the talks. The United States should live up to its words and lift all relevant unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction measures against Iran, so that Iran can fully partake of the economic dividends of the JCPOA," he said.
Zhang stressed that to keep the resumed Iranian nuclear talks on the right track with a view to an early and positive outcome, double standards should be abandoned.
The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is the cornerstone of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime. All parties must strictly abide by the NPT, he said.
However, Zhang pointed out, the cooperation between the United States, the UK and Australia on nuclear submarines is the first time since the NPT was concluded that a nuclear weapon state has openly transferred nuclear weapon materials to a non-nuclear weapon state.
"Regardless of how the three countries may choose to name their nuclear submarine cooperation, the very essence of their nuclear proliferation behavior cannot be concealed, its negative impact on the political and diplomatic settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue cannot be undone, the risk it poses to regional peace and stability is a reality that cannot be changed," he said.
He emphasized that the practice of applying double standards to the detriment of the objectives and purposes of the NPT must be rectified in order to maintain the authority and effectiveness of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime.
There is no better alternative to the JCPOA agreement, as dialogue and consultation is the only right way forward in the resolution of the Iranian nuclear crisis, Zhang noted.
He said that China welcomes and supports all efforts conducive to the peaceful resolution of the crisis, welcomes the relaunch of indirect talks between the United States and Iran in Doha, and appreciates the recent good offices by the EU.
He expressed hope that the EU, as the coordinator, will continue to play its unique role and work harder to encourage greater flexibility from the parties.
The envoy also called for eliminating interference in the negotiation process.
"As we approach the final hurdle, it is all the more important for all parties to firm up confidence, reject any and all interference, and preserve the hard-won results of the negotiations achieved to date," he said.
In this context, all parties should be guided by reason, exercise restraint, and refrain from taking unconstructive steps that would cause a spiraling of tensions, he said.
China objects politicizing the mandate of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), as reflected in the Iran-related resolution recently forced through by some countries and adopted by the agency's Board of Governors, and supports settling outstanding issues through dialogue and cooperation between the IAEA and Iran, Zhang said.