On Wednesday, Deputy Foreign Ministers of the Russian Federation and the PRC Sergey Ryabkov and Ma Zhaoxu held a telephone conversation, during which they agreed to strengthen strategic cooperation between the two countries and jointly promote the settlement of the Iranian nuclear problem through political and diplomatic means.
“On November 3, Deputy Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China Ma Zhaoxu held a telephone conversation with Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergei Ryabkov, the parties exchanged views on the Iranian nuclear issue and reached a broad consensus,” the statement said following the conversation posted on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
During the conversation, the diplomats stressed that the current situation with the Iranian atom is at an important stage, and all parties should make joint efforts to facilitate the early resumption of negotiations on a return to the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
At the same time, the Chinese Foreign Ministry pointed out, “all parties must respect and take into account each other’s concerns, take a flexible and pragmatic position, and return the JCPOA to the right path as soon as possible.”
“Both sides agreed to continue to strengthen strategic cooperation and jointly promote the settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue through political and diplomatic means,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.
In 2015, the UK, Germany, China, Russia, USA, France and Iran signed a JCPOA. The deal included the lifting of sanctions in exchange for limiting Iran’s nuclear program as a guarantor of Tehran’s non-receipt of nuclear weapons. In May 2018, then-US President Donald Trump decided to unilaterally withdraw and reinstate tough sanctions against Tehran. In response, Iran announced a phased reduction in its obligations under the agreement, abandoning restrictions on nuclear research, centrifuges and the level of uranium enrichment.
Negotiations are underway in Vienna to restore the JCPOA and lift US sanctions on Iran; the sixth round ended on June 20. According to Mikhail Ulyanov, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to international organizations in Vienna, the work to restore the deal has been completed by almost 90%, there are still political moments related to the obligations of the United States and how Washington will comply with them in the future. The Iranian Foreign Ministry said that negotiations will resume in the fall, as the government of the new President Ibrahim Raisi, who won the elections in June, is to be finally formed in Iran.