China urges U.S. to respond positively to reasonable demands of Iran
China's permanent representative to the UN Zhang Jun. /Xinhua

China's permanent representative to the UN Zhang Jun. /Xinhua

A senior Chinese diplomat on Thursday urged the United States, as the party responsible for the Iranian nuclear crisis, to respond positively to the reasonable demands of Iran.

"The United States should face up to its responsibility, correct its mistake once and for all, make a political decision as soon as possible, and take concrete measures to respond positively to the reasonable demands of Iran," Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations, said while addressing a Security Council briefing on the Iranian nuclear issue.

Iran and the United States held indirect talks on Tuesday and Wednesday in the Qatari capital of Doha to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which started to fall apart after Washington's pullout from the deal in May 2018.

"The previous U.S. administration, in disregard of objections from the international community, unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA, and launched a maximum pressure campaign against Iran. We must admit that is the root cause of the current Iranian nuclear crisis," Zhang said.

He noted that the United States, while repeatedly stating its readiness to seek a return to compliance, is nevertheless escalating sanctions against Iran and third parties even during the process of resumed talks.

"Doing so is obviously detrimental to any positive progress in the talks. The United States should live up to its words and lift all relevant unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction measures against Iran, so that Iran can fully partake of the economic dividends of the JCPOA," he said.

There is no better alternative to the JCPOA agreement, as dialogue and consultation is the only right way forward in the resolution of the Iranian nuclear crisis, Zhang noted.

He said that China welcomes and supports all efforts conducive to the peaceful resolution of the crisis, welcomes the relaunch of indirect talks between the United States and Iran in Doha, and appreciates the recent good offices by the EU.

(With input from Xinhua)

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