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Statement of Ambassador Zhang Jun at the Security Council Open Meeting on the Iranian Nuclear Issue

2019/12/19

(XINHUA NEWS AGENCY LI MUZI)

Madam President,

I thank Under-Secretary-General DiCarlo, Ambassador Pecsteen and Ambassador Skoog for their briefings and commend the parties concerned for their work.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), endorsed by the Security Council, is a significant achievement of multilateral diplomacy and an essential component of the international order based on international law. It is of crucial importance for safeguarding the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and maintaining peace and stability in the Middle East.

The Iranian nuclear issue is evolving to a critical stage, and the implementation of the JCPOA is faced with a severe test. Dialogue and negotiation point to a realistic way out for resolving the Iranian nuclear issue. The full and effective implementation of the JCPOA is the only correct and effective way to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue and ease the current situation. All the parties should work together to restore the balance of rights and obligations under the JCPOA.

China is concerned about the US withdrawal from the JCPOA and its increase of unilateral sanctions against Iran. In his report, Secretary-General Guterres also believes that such US actions continue to be contrary to the goals set out in the JCPOA and the resolution and may also impede the ability of Iran to implement certain provisions of the JCPOA and of the resolution. The observation of the Secretary-General should be taken seriously by the Security Council and all parties.

China has noted that Iran has remained largely restrained in reducing its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA and Iran has stressed that all the measures it has taken are reversible and subject to the IAEA's monitoring and verification. All the parties to the JCPOA should exercise restraint and stay within the framework of the Joint Commission to strengthen consultation, resolve differences and refrain from taking steps that might further complicate the situation.

China appreciates the courage expressed and efforts made by all participants in preserving the JCPOA, appreciates Russia's continued efforts to take forward the modification of the Fordow nuclear facility, welcomes the EU's positive progress in setting up INSTEX, and supports France to continue carrying out diplomatic good offices. We support the IAEA in its continued objective and impartial position when monitoring and verifying Iran's nuclear activities.

China always stands for resolving the Iranian nuclear issue by political and diplomatic means, remains committed to consolidating the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and safeguarding international and regional peace and stability. China is a negotiator and participant of the JCPOA, as well as its staunch defender and enforcer. China will continue to work with all the parties for new progress in the modernization of the Arak heavy water reactor. We will continue to be objective, impartial and responsible in our tireless efforts to uphold and implement the JCPOA and Resolution 2231.

Madam President,

China commends the Secretary-General's report for its call to uphold the JCPOA, protect the freedom to pursue legitimate business with Iran, support the Procurement Channel, and maintain regional stability. In the meantime, the report should reflect the implementation of the resolution in an objective, balanced and comprehensive manner, ensure the accuracy of relevant information, and fully address Iran's legitimate concerns and lawful rights and interests. The 2231 Format of the Security Council is not a sanctions mechanism. The Facilitator of the Format and the secretariat should act strictly in accordance with its mandate and function.

Under the current circumstances, all the parties need to be cautious in addressing Iran's missile launches and accurately interpret the relevant Council resolutions to avoid any negative impact on the overall picture of the JCPOA implementation. China has noted Iran's repeated statements on the conventional and self-defensive nature of its missile programme and hopes that the parties will take the Iranian position seriously.

The proper settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue is closely linked to maintaining peace and stability in the Middle East. Recently, the Middle East has seen continued tension and rapidly-evolving hot-spot issues. China calls on all parties concerned to remain calm, exercise restraint, resolve disputes through dialogue and consultation, refrain from taking actions that might escalate regional tension, respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all Member States, and do not interfere the internal affairs of other countries. China supports the Gulf countries in conducting dialogue on regional security issues and supports the efforts of regional countries in resolving conflicts.

Thank you, Madam President.

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