Ambassador Geng Shuang: Make Efforts to Bring the JCPOA back on Track
22 December 2020
I thank Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo, Ambassador Olof Skoog, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, and Ambassador Philippe Kridelka, Permanent Representative of Belgium to the United Nations for their briefings.
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the Iranian Nuclear Issue is an important achievement of multilateral diplomacy. Endorsed by the Security Council resolution 2231, it is legally binding and should be effectively implemented. To preserve the JCPOA is to uphold multilateralism, maintain peace and stability in the Middle East, safeguard the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and the international order underpinned by international law.
The US unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA, continued maximum pressure on Iran, and its action to undermine the efforts of parties to uphold the agreement are the root causes of the current predicament of the Iranian nuclear issue. Since the beginning of this year, the US has openly pushed for extension of the arms embargo against Iran in the Security Council, demanded to invoke the snapback mechanism and unilaterally announced the reinstatement of sanctions against Iran. In disregard of the views of the international community, the US staged several farces. Faced with unreasonable demands of the US, the overwhelming majority of Council members adhered to an objective and fair stand, refused to endorse the US position, and did not recognize any legal, political or practical effects of the US actions. The President of the Security Council also concluded that they were in no position to take any action on the US request. This represents a resounding rejection of bullying by fairness and justice, of unilateralism by multilateralism. It reflects vividly the support of the international community for justice and multilateralism.
At present, the situation on Iranian nuclear issue is expecting important changes and faced with new opportunities and challenges. All parties should maintain calmness and restraint, resolutely implement the JCPOA, resolve differences through dialogue and consultation under the framework of the Joint Commission, and restore the balance of rights and obligations under the JCPOA. Yesterday, the virtual meeting of the Foreign Ministers on the Iranian nuclear issue was successfully convened. The parties reaffirmed their commitment to safeguarding the JCPOA and the Council resolution 2231, ensuring their complete and effective implementation, recognizing the prospect of the US rejoining the JCPOA and agreeing to make joint efforts to push for early US return to the agreement. The Ministerial Meeting has sent a positive and strong message to the world. All parties should seize the opportunity to speed up engagement and consultations, strengthen diplomatic efforts and bring the JCPOA back on the right track as soon as possible. The most urgent task at the moment is for the US to mend its ways, rejoin the agreement unconditionally at an early date, and return to full compliance.
China understands that certain countries have concerns about issues such as regional security. Yet, linking them directly to the JCPOA and demanding the reopening of negotiations on the agreement will create new obstacles and add new complications to solving the dilemma of the Iranian nuclear issue. At the Ministerial Meeting of the Security Council on the situation of the Gulf region on October 20, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi proposed building up a multilateral dialogue platform for the region to launch an inclusive dialogue, discuss regional security issues and continuously build consensus by addressing the easier issues first and then move on to the difficult ones. We are willing to link the Chinese initiative with similar ones from Russia and others, learn from each other and forge synergies. Council members and regional countries can use this as a basis, act in good faith, earnestly engage in dialogue and discussion, and gradually accumulate momentum, so as to strive for a consensus that addresses the legitimate concerns of all parties and responds to the expectations of the international community.
In his report, the Secretary-General acknowledges the role of the JCPOA as the best way to comprehensively and completely resolve the Iranian nuclear issue. The Secretary-General calls on all parties to constructively resolve differences through the dispute resolution mechanism, thanks all parties for supporting the operation of the instrument in support of trade exchanges (INSTEX), and believes that it is vital for all parties, under the current economic and pandemic circumstances, to carry out economic and trade cooperation with Iran. China appreciates these positive contents.
Just now, USG DiCarlo presented a few facts in her briefing, including Council members’ universal rejection of the US pushing for reinstatement of sanctions against Iran in disregard of the call of the international community, and Iran’s incomplete compliance of its obligations under the agreement, as well as the concerns of the Secretary-General about the current tension in the Gulf region. China hopes that the Secretary-General and the Secretariat will continue to promote and facilitate the diplomatic efforts from all parties and continue to play an important role in helping resolve the Iranian nuclear issue.
China has always been committed to maintaining the authority of the Security Council resolution and the effectiveness of the JCPOA. China will continue to stand on the right side of history, firmly uphold multilateralism, and work with all parties concerned to make unremitting efforts to promote the political and diplomatic settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue and safeguard peace and stability in the Gulf region.
Based on the Programme of Work for the month and barring the unexpected, this is the last Security Council meeting for the year 2020. I would like to take this opportunity to bid farewell to the five non permanent members: Belgium, the Dominican Republic, Germany, Indonesia, and South Africa. I thank you for your efforts and contributions in advancing the work of the Security Council over the past two years. I hope that after your tenure, you will continue, as always, to render support and cooperation.
Last but not least, I hope that the upcoming 2021 will bring everybody health and tranquility, peace and security, solidarity and cooperation.
Thank you, Mr. President.