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China, Russia And Iran Call On The West To Restore Nuclear Deal

Above photo: IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi delivering his opening statement to the IAEA Board of Governors.  IAEA.

The US unilaterally withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018.

It immediately imposed stringent sanctions on Iran, making all possibilities of JCPOA revival difficult

China, Russia and Iran, three of the seven original signatories of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or Iran nuclear deal, issued a joint statement on Wednesday, June 5, asking the European signatories to take efforts to restore the deal.

“The People’s Republic of China, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation are convinced that it is time for Western Countries to demonstrate political will, stop the continued cycle of escalation that has been going on for almost two years and take the necessary steps towards the revival of the JCPOA. This can still be done,” the statement reads.

The statement was delivered to the ongoing quarterly board of governors meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna. The meeting which started on Monday will continue till June 6. Iran’s nuclear program is one of the main points on the agenda of the meeting.

The three countries believe that a fully operational nuclear deal would help reduce tensions at the international level and would benefit all the parties involved, the statement claimed. It also underlined that the international community must recognize Iran’s right to have a peaceful nuclear program like any other signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

IAEA director general Rafael Mariano Grossi claimed during the inaugural briefing of the meeting on Monday that, “nuclear non-proliferation regime requires our constant efforts and determination to make sure that the legitimate nuclear activities are carried out in a peaceful manner.”

However, the European signatories of the JCPOA and close US allies, the UK, France and Germany pushed through a resolution in the IAEA board meeting censuring Iran for allegedly not cooperating with its inspectors. The resolution was supported by the United States.

On Tuesday, US ambassador to the IAEA Laura S H Holgate presented her country’s position in the meeting accusing Iran of not cooperating with the IAEA and rejecting all attempts to revive the deal by calling it “absurd.”

JCPOA was signed by Iran and five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany in 2015. The deal allows Iran to have a peaceful nuclear program under certain restrictions and strict international observation. In return all international sanctions on Iran were lifted.

However, in May 2018, the US decided to unilaterally withdraw from the deal claiming its provisions were insufficient. The Donald Trump administration imposed numerous unilateral sanctions against Iran as well. Its European allies have also imposed sanctions against Iran.

During his electoral campaign, Joe Biden had promised to return to the deal if elected. A talk was initiated to revive the deal in April 2021 in Vienna. However, it has remained inconclusive as the US has refused to withdraw all sanctions before full restoration of Iranian compliance to the provisions of the deal.

The Biden administration has since broadened the sanctions regime against Iran. It has also leveled allegations that Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons and has pointed out Iran’s non-compliance with the provisions of the deal.

Iran has claimed that it has stopped complying with the provisions of the deal as per the rules of the JCPOA and blames the US for the failure of the deal. It has maintained that once the JCPOA is restored it will go back to full compliance.

The joint statement of China, Russia and Iran on Wednesday called both the US’ unilateral withdrawal and sanctions against Iran illegal.

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