TEHRAN (Dispatches) – China warned against Washington’s strategy of "maximum pressure” on Tehran, saying the U.S.’ "wrong practices” have led to the current Iranian nuclear tension.
"We believe that the maximum pressure by the U.S. is the root cause of the current Iranian nuclear tension. The U.S. should abandon wrong practices, such as unilateral sanctions and maximum pressure on Iran," Hua Chunying, spokesperson of China’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, told reporters in Beijing on Monday.
The U.S. further intensified tensions with Iran after it withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal, reached between major world powers, last May and re-imposed sanctions against Tehran.
In response to U.S.’ actions, Iran has taken countermeasures, scaling back some of limits set by the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), reached in July 2015.
Iran has so far rowed back on its nuclear commitments three times in compliance with articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA.
As a third step in its reduction of commitments, Iran said on Saturday it had activated 20 IR-4 and 20 IR-6 centrifuges for research and development purposes after the Europeans failed to work within a 60-day deadline to meet Iran’s demands and fulfill their commitments under the multilateral deal.
Iran says its retaliatory measures will be reversible as soon as Europe finds practical ways to shield the mutual trade from the U.S. sanctions, which were re-imposed last year when U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the JCPOA.
In a meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, in Beijing late last month, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said disregard for international law has increased in recent years, describing this as a reason for boosting international cooperation between Iran and China.
"Inattention to international regulations and humiliation of international law has been on the rise and this is why the two countries of Iran and China, as age-old friends, need to further expand their bilateral cooperation,” Iran's top diplomat said in the meeting.
Elsewhere in her presser, the Chinese Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman called on all parties to the JCPOA to remain "committed to the full and effective implementation of the comprehensive agreement.”
She expressed hope that the relevant parties would hold meetings to push the Iranian nuclear situation to ease.
"China will continue to make joint efforts with all sides concerned to this end,” Hua added.
****Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying urged the U.S. side to give up the wrong practice of maximum pressure on Iran.