Top diplomats of Iran, China hold talks on nuclear deal

Tehran willing to play vital role in China’s Belt and Road Initiative

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian held talks with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on the Iran nuclear deal alongside bilateral relations and regional and international developments, according to the country’s foreign ministry on Saturday, Anadolu reports.

The two top diplomats discussed over the phone “the latest status of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA),” the ministry said in a statement. JCPOA is the formal name of the nuclear agreement.

Amirabdollahian emphasized on the “need to implement the comprehensive 25-year cooperation program” between the two countries, the ministry said.

Meanwhile, Yi stressed the need for the revival of the nuclear deal and “welcomed the beginning of talks between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the European side.” He also noted that he already “instructed his colleagues to continue close consultations in this regard with their counterparts in the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”

Amirabdollahian indicated that the talks between Iran and the European Union “have started in a positive and constructive direction” and would continue in Brussels.

He also called on the US to lift “unilateral and illegal” sanctions on Iran.

On Thursday, Enrique Mora, the EU’s deputy foreign policy chief, met in Tehran with Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani.

In a statement, Iran’s Foreign Ministry said both sides discussed “bilateral, regional and international issues,” including “Iran-EU ties, Afghanistan, and negotiations on lifting sanctions against Iran.”

The visit of the EU envoy, who is tasked with coordinating talks on reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, came amid mounting pressure from the US and European countries to resume the talks in Vienna.

The former US administration in May 2018 unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers in July 2015, followed by a reinstatement of sanctions.

Since 2019, Iran has taken a series of measures to scale back its commitments under the deal, including ramping up nuclear enrichment activities, sparking concerns in the international community.

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