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China Daily: At a press conference on May 24, IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi announced the extension of a temporary technical understanding for IAEA's verification and monitoring activities in Iran until June 24. What is China's comment? What impact will this have on the ongoing Iranian nuclear talks in Vienna? How does China view the prospect of the talks and what role is China playing in the talks?
Zhao Lijian: China welcomes the extension of the technical understanding between Iran and the IAEA, and hopes that the understanding can be faithfully implemented. China believes that this reflects Iran's political will to produce results at talks on reviving the JCPOA, and has gained valuable time for the negotiations. At present, important substantive progress has been made in the Iranian nuclear talks, but there are still some differences. China hopes that all parties concerned will act with greater sense of urgency, make a political decision without delay and push for an early breakthrough in the negotiations.
As an important JCPOA party, China has been actively promoting a political and diplomatic settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue, and has done a lot of work to bring JCPOA back on track with the aim of maintaining the international nuclear non-proliferation system as well as peace and stability in the Middle East. Being committed to a political settlement, China has guided all JCPOA parties to earnestly implement the consensus reached at the foreign ministers' meeting on the Iranian nuclear issue last December and initiated negotiations on the resumption of compliance by the US and Iran. We urged the US to reflect on its withdrawal from the agreement, and lift all relevant sanctions against Iran. We also urged Iran to resume its full implementation of the agreement on this basis. China has been playing a mediating role to bridge the differences between the parties by putting forward the "China solution". As a result, the negotiations have produced positive results. China has fulfilled its commitment, overcome various difficulties, and made Iran's Arak heavy water reactor renovation project a highlight in the implementation of JCPOA. China has firmly safeguarded its legitimate rights and interests, and has been working to push the US side to completely lift all illegal unilateral sanctions against Iran, China and other third parties. China has been committed to maintaining regional peace and stability, advocated the establishment of a multilateral dialogue platform in the Gulf region to resolve the security concerns of all parties through equal-footed consultation under the precondition of upholding JCPOA.
As the Chinese saying goes, the last leg of a journey just marks the halfway point. China hopes that all parties can proceed from the long-term and overall interest, give full play to their political wisdom, resolve the outstanding issues with a flexible and pragmatic attitude, and reach a final plan for the resumption of compliance by the US and Iran at an early date to get JCPOA back on track. China will continue to make unremitting efforts to promote this diplomatic process while firmly safeguarding its legitimate rights and interests.