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China welcomes extension of Iran-IAEA monitoring deal

This satellite photo from Planet Labs Inc shows Iran's Natanz nuclear facility on April 7, 2021. (PLANET LABS INC VIA AP)

BEIJING – China welcomes the extension of a temporary technical understanding between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and hopes it could be faithfully implemented, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Tuesday.

Director General of the IAEA Rafael Grossi said Monday that the temporary arrangement reached with Iran in February, which allows the agency to monitor Iran's nuclear activities, will be extended and will expire on June 24.

Director General of the IAEA Rafael Grossi said Monday that the temporary arrangement reached with Iran in February, which allows the agency to monitor Iran's nuclear activities, will be extended and will expire on June 24

Zhao said China believes the extension reflects Iran's political will to promote talks on the resumption of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iran nuclear issue, which has bought precious time for the negotiations.

Although the negotiations have made important and substantial progress, some divergence still exist, he said, adding that China hopes relevant parties can make political decisions without delay and push for an early breakthrough in the negotiations.

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As an important participant in the JCPOA, China has always insisted on a political settlement, guided the parties concerned to earnestly implement the consensus reached at the foreign ministers' meeting on Iran nuclear issue last December, facilitated negotiations for the United States and Iran to resume the implementation of the agreement, urged the United States to reflect on its withdrawal from the JCPOA as well as lift all sanctions against Iran, and called on Iran to resume full implementation of the nuclear deal, Zhao said.

China has fulfilled its commitments, overcome various difficulties, and made Iran's Arak reactor renovation project into a highlight of the implementation of the JCPOA, he added.

"China always firmly safeguards its legitimate rights and interests and actively promotes the complete lifting of all illegal unilateral sanctions by the United States against third parties including Iran and China," he said.

"China has been committed to maintaining regional peace and stability, advocated the establishment of a multilateral dialogue platform in the Gulf region to resolve the security concerns of all parties through equal-footed consultation under the precondition of upholding JCPOA," Zhao said.

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China hopes that all parties can proceed from the long-term and overall interest, give full play to their political wisdom, resolve the outstanding issues with a flexible and pragmatic attitude, and reach a final plan for full resumption by the United States and Iran at an early date to get JCPOA back on track, he said.

China will continue to make unremitting efforts to promote this diplomatic process while firmly safeguarding its legitimate rights and interests, he said.