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EghtesadOnline: China and the three European signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal have agreed to enhance cooperation to ensure the implementation of the fraying agreement, according to a top Chinese diplomat.

Political directors from France, Germany and Britain visited China and met their Chinese counterpart on Friday to exchange views on the Iranian nuclear issue. 

Iran has been stepping away from its obligations under the nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, in response to the United States' unilateral withdrawal and reimposition of sanctions as well as the other signatories' inability to make up for the American pressure, according to Financial Tribune.

"China and Europe, as two major forces for multilateralism, agreed to strengthen communication and coordination … and ensure the full and effective implementation of the JCPOA," Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a regular press conference on Friday, the ministry's website reported. 

The two sides also stressed the need to follow the consensus reached at the JCPOA foreign ministers' meeting held on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September. 

The Chinese diplomat said participants of the Friday meeting favor resolving compliance issues through consultation within the JCPOA Joint Commission, a forum where the parties can discuss their disputes over the implementation of the accord.

According to Geng, they also support "diplomatic mediation efforts" to alleviate the situation between Iran and the United States. 

Tensions between Tehran and Washington have spilled onto the Persian Gulf region, prompting other countries to make conciliatory moves. 

France, in particular, sought to broker dialogue between the two countries, but failed because neither side agreed to make the compromises it had proposed.

"We stand ready to work for the easing of tensions to uphold the international nuclear non-proliferation regime as well as peace and stability in the Middle East," Geng said. 



A Severe Test

Earlier on Thursday, China's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Zhang Jun had said at the UN Security Council meeting that the Iran nuclear issue is entering a critical stage and the implementation of the nuclear deal is facing a severe test.

He also urged all parties concerned to work together to restore the "balance of rights and obligations" under the agreement, Xinhua reported. 

The Chinese envoy later expressed his concern about the US increasing sanctions pressure against Tehran, saying these actions may impede Iran's ability to implement certain provisions of the deal.

Six UN Security Council members from the European Union, namely Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Poland and Estonia, also said at the meeting that the nuclear agreement is fundamental to regional and international peace and security, and called for its fulfillment.

"It is essential that intense diplomatic efforts continue and hard-won achievements are preserved and built upon," they said in a statement that was read out at the event. 

They voiced dismay about the US exit from the deal and its measures against Iran, saying "these actions of the United States are contrary to the goals set out in the Iran nuclear deal and council Resolution 2231, which endorses the deal".

However, the EU countries expressed regret about the "worrying steps" taken over the last few months by Iran to reduce its nuclear-related commitments under the deal, "as verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency". 

"We strongly urge Iran to reverse these measures without any delay and refrain from taking further escalatory steps."

Iran argues that the remaining parties, especially Europe, have fallen short of fulfilling their responsibilities in addressing Iran's economic problems, which snuffed out the deal’s benefits for the country. 

Nevertheless, officials in Tehran have declared that all the measures are immediately reversible once Iran's demands are met. 


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