China has called on all parties to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran to respect it, rejecting US President Donald Trump’s demands for a renegotiation.
The agreement, which was “not come by easily” must be respected, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said in a statement on Saturday, adding that all relevant parties should “bear the larger picture and long-term interest in mind.”
He also said the deal was key to maintaining peace and stability in the Middle East and that it was China’s “consistent and clear-cut position” to oppose unilateral sanctions.
Trump on Friday threatened to withdraw from the agreement if what he called its “disastrous flaws” were not fixed. He also imposed fresh sanctions on 14 entities and individuals the US accuses of human rights violations.
The 2015 deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was signed by the US under the administration of former US president Barack Obama as well as Iran, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany.
It is aimed at ensuring Iran uses its nuclear capabilities for peaceful purposes while preventing it from gaining nuclear weapons. In exchange, economic sanctions on the country were lifted.
But Trump, who must approve sanctions waivers every 120 and 180 days, said Friday the agreement must do more to ensure Iran never develops a nuclear weapon. He said he was waving nuclear-related sanctions for the last time and that he was only doing so to allow time to reach an agreement with European allies on fixing the deal’s flaws.
Iran has rejected any renegotiation of the treaty.