China believes US should abandon sanctions, pressure on Iran: Envoy for Middle East

Published: Nov 8, 2019, 12:54 pm IST

The United States must abandon the policy of unilateral sanctions and pressure on Iran, China’s special envoy for Middle East, Zhai Jun, said on Friday, commenting on new US sanctions.

On Monday, the US Treasury Department sanctioned nine individuals, including a son of the country’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iranian top officials and the General Staff of the Iranian armed forces. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi called the new US sanctions “useless.”

“China believes that the United States should abandon these methods, abandon unilateral sanctions and extreme pressure on Iran, because this is the only way to return to the original correct way to solve the problem,” the Chinese diplomat said at a briefing.
He stressed that the current tense situation in the Middle East was associated with unilateral sanctions and pressure exerted by the United States, as well as with Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Tehran.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as Iran nuclear deal, was signed in 2015 by Iran, China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union. It required Iran to scale back its nuclear program and severely downgrade its uranium reserves in exchange for sanctions relief.

In 2018, the United States abandoned its conciliatory policy on Iran, withdrawing from the JCPOA and hitting Iranian petroleum industries with sanctions. Washington has since then introduced a number of restrictive measures in order to achieve Iran’s concessions.