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Iran nuclear talks: Chinese envoy calls for political decisiveness, package solutions

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A meeting of the Joint Commission on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is held in Vienna, Austria, May 25, 2021. /Xinhua

VIENNA, Austria

A Chinese envoy on Tuesday urged all parties concerned to show political decisiveness in the ongoing negotiations to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Wang Qun, Chinese envoy to the United Nations and other international organizations in Vienna, made the remarks after the JCPOA Joint Commission started a new round of talks on Tuesday.

The meeting came one day after Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi announced that the temporary arrangement reached with Iran in February, which allows the agency to monitor Iran’s nuclear activities, will be extended by one month to June 24.

China welcomes the extension as it provides favorable conditions for advancing the talks of the Joint Commission, said Wang.

China hopes that all parties involved will enhance a sense of urgency, show due political decisiveness, seek package solutions and reach an early agreement on resuming compliance with the JCPOA, Wang said.

On Sunday, ahead of the latest round of talks, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said it remains unclear whether Iran is “ready and wiling” to take the steps to return to the deal’s nuclear obligations. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reacted to Blinken’s comments by tweeting that the lifting of sanctions reimposed by former U.S. President Donald Trump “is a legal & moral obligation, NOT negotiating leverage”.

The U.S. administration under Trump withdrew from the JCPOA in May 2018 and unilaterally re-imposed sanctions on Iran. In response, Iran gradually stopped implementing parts of its JCPOA commitments from May 2019. 

The JCPOA Joint Commission has been meeting in Vienna since April 6 to continue previous discussions in view of a possible return of the United States to the JCPOA and on how to ensure full and effective implementation of the deal.  

The Joint Commission meeting was chaired by Enrique Mora, deputy secretary-general and political director of the European External Action Service, and attended by representatives from China, France, Germany, Russia, Britain and Iran. 

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