Iranian, Chinese FMs Discuss Ways to Save JCPOA

Sergio Conner
May 14, 2018

Beijing will work further on protecting the Iranian nuclear deal after Washington's withdrawal from the multilateral agreement, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Sunday.

In a bid to meet the officials of the five signatory states of the JCPOA who has vowed to stay in the agreement after U.S. withdrawal, Iranian foreign minister a three stop tour from Beijing and he will finally wrap up his negotiations in Brussels.

FM says Tehran is "ready for all options" as he embarks on tour with pact's other signatories in wake of U.S. withdrawal.

Washington's decision to withdraw from the agreement and reimpose sanctions infuriated its allies in Europe as well as China and Russian Federation.

But he added: "If the nuclear deal is to continue, the interests of the people of Iran must be assured".

After meeting officials in Beijing Sunday, Zarif will continue his whirlwind diplomatic tour by flying to Moscow and Brussels to consult with the remaining signatories to the agreement.

After China, the Iranian foreign minister was scheduled to fly to Moscow for talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov and then Brussels to consult with British, French and German foreign ministers as well as European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

Prior to leaving Iran, Zarif published a government statement via Twitter criticising Trump's "extremist administration" for abandoning "an accord recognised as a victory of diplomacy by the worldwide community".

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The US will re-impose sanctions on Iran and firms dealing with it could be hit, angering signatories like France.

"Iran's interests in important areas and issues relevant to the JCPOA, like oil, gas, and petrochemicals sales, as well as banking relations should be clearly and explicitly defined and guaranteed", Rouhani said.

It reiterated that Iran was preparing to resume "industrial-scale" uranium enrichment "without any restrictions" unless Europe provided solid guarantees that it could maintain trade ties despite renewed United States sanctions.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Wednesday that China would "carry on the normal and transparent pragmatic cooperation with Iran".

Trump long complained about the deal and said Tehran was violating the "spirit" of it by continuing to test ballistic missiles and by supporting militant activities in the region, leading him to withdraw from the pact on May 8.

"Iran's Military Budget is up more than 40 percent since the Obama negotiated Nuclear Deal was reached. just another indicator that it was all a big lie", he wrote.

Trump directed his administration to "immediately begin the process of re-imposing sanctions" related to the deal, a White House statement said.

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