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China urges haste on lifting Iran sanctions

China Daily | Updated: 2021-04-19 09:59

Representatives of parties to the Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action meet in Vienna, Austria, on Saturday. EU DELEGATION IN VIENNA

VIENNA-A Chinese envoy on Saturday urged all parties to a nuclear deal struck between Iran and world powers to immediately start negotiations on a specific formula to remove sanctions against the Islamic republic.

Wang Qun, Chinese envoy to the United Nations and other international organizations in Vienna, made the appeal in the Austrian capital after attending a new round of meetings of the Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, the formal name of the agreement signed in 2015.

"China has drawn much encouragement that the joint commission has, over the two days, come back to its normal track with productive and constructive work," he said.

"China maintains that all US sanctions should be lifted immediately," be it sanctions against Iran, or its long-arm jurisdiction measures on third-party entities and individuals, including those on Chinese, he said.

China believes that the joint commission should continue to focus on the "more substantive work" of sanction-lifting through the two major processes-the work of the nuclear implementation and sanctions-lifting working groups, and the "proximity talks" with the United States, Wang said.

China will continue to work with all the parties to push the US and Iran to resume negotiations on the implementation of the JCPOA for early and tangible results, he said.

The joint commission resumed its talks on Thursday in Vienna after a blackout struck the Natanz enrichment facility in central Iran. Iranian authorities have accused Israel of sabotage.

The talks are aimed at determining which sanctions the United States should lift and the measures Iran has to take in order to rein in its nuclear program.

Saturday's talks were chaired by Enrique Mora, the deputy secretary-general and political director of the European External Action Service. Representatives of China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and Iran attended the meeting.

Detailed work needed

Mora said on Saturday that "progress has been made in a far from easy task. We need now more detailed work".

Russia's Ambassador to Austria Mikhail Ulyanov said the "participants took note with satisfaction of the progress made so far and expressed determination to continue negotiations with a view to complete the process successfully as soon as possible".

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said the talks had entered a new phase, adding that Iran had proposed draft agreements that could be a basis for negotiations.

"We think that the talks have reached a stage where parties are able to begin to work on a joint draft," Araghchi told Iranian state television. "It seems that a new understanding is taking shape, and now there is agreement over final goals."

The talks took place a day after Iran said it had started producing uranium at 60-percent purity.

A spokesman for the International Atomic Energy Agency said on Saturday that the agency had verified that Iran had begun this process and that according to Teheran the enrichment level was 55.3 percent.

US President Joe Biden said this would not help resolve the standoff.

But he added: "We are nonetheless pleased that Iran has continued to agree to engage in discussions."

Xinhua - Agencies

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