Statement by the Councilor DAI Huaicheng at the IAEA Board of Governors Meeting, Agenda Item V: Verification and Monitoring in the Islamic Republic of Iran in Light of UNSC Resolution 2231

June 16, 2020

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Madam Chair,

The Chinese delegation took note of the report (GOV/2020/26) submitted by the Director-General of IAEA on verification and monitoring in the Islamic Republic of Iran in light of United Nations Security Council resolution 2231. The report confirms that the Agency has been verifying and monitoring the implementation by Iran of its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA; that Iran has not yet implemented the fifth step of reducing its commitments to the JCPOA; and that there is non-diversion of declared nuclear material to other purposes. China thanks the Director-General and the Secretariat for their efforts and expresses its appreciation for the full cooperation between Iran and the Agency.

JCPOA, concluded in July 2015, is an important outcome of multilateral diplomacy, a significant part of the international nuclear non-proliferation system and an important pillar for peace and stability in the Middle East. However, it is regrettable that the United States violated UN Security Council Resolution 2231 by unilaterally ceasing participation of the JCPOA, continuously strengthening its maximum pressure on Iran and preventing other countries from implementing the deal. This act of unilateral bullying is the root cause of tension in the Iranian nuclear situation. We urge the United States to abandon the unilateral sanctions and the wrong practices of "long arm jurisdiction" and return to the right track of complying with the JCPOA and the Security Council resolution as soon as possible.

To counter the maximum pressure from the United States, Iran has adopted measures, in a step-by-step manner, to reduce its commitments to the JCPOA. Iran also stated that "If the sanctions are lifted and Iran benefits from its interests enshrined in the JCPOA", it is ready to return to its commitments. China regrets this situation, understands Iran's reasonable concerns, and notes that Iran has always exercised restraint, adhered to its obligations under NPT, and accepted strict safeguards and verification by the Agency. China encourages Iran to continue to maintain cooperation with the Agency. At the same time, it is hoped that the Agency will continue to uphold the principles of objectivity, impartiality and neutrality, and carry out safeguards and verification in Iran in strict accordance with its mandates.

Madam Chair,

Under the current situation, maintaining and implementing the JCPOA is the only correct way to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue. China has noted that all remaining parties are still committed to maintaining the deal and are willing to further explore ways to resolve differences in implementation, within the framework of the Joint Commission. The top priority now is for all parties to strengthen dialogue, reach a solution as soon as possible and put it into effect in accordance with the principles of a step-by-step approach and reciprocity. I want to emphasize that while pushing for Iran's return of its commitments to the JCPOA, the international community should also take effective measures to guarantee Iran's economic benefit and thus achieve a balance between the rights and obligations set out in the JCPOA.

The nuclear projects originated from JCPOA reflects the balance between Iran's non-proliferation obligations and its right to peaceful use of nuclear energy and embodies the purposes and principles of NPT. Complying with and implementing relevant arrangements is in the common interest of all parties and is also the joint responsibility of all parties. A few days ago, the United States insisted on ending sanctions waiver covering all remaining JCPOA-originating nuclear projects, such as the modification of the Arak Heavy Water Reactor. This is the latest example of its acts to undermine the implementation of the JCPOA. China is firmly opposed to such acts and is ready to work with all parties to continue firmly upholding JCPOA and safeguarding its legitimate rights and interests.

Madam Chair,

On June 8, China's State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi wrote to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the rotating president of the Security Council, stating China's position on the Iranian nuclear issue. China is firmly upholding the authority of the UN Security Council resolutions and the efficacy of the JCPOA and disapproves the U.S push for extending the arms embargo on Iran. All the provisions of Security Council Resolution 2231, including the arrangements for arms-related restrictive measures, should be earnestly implemented. The United States, no longer a participant to the JCPOA after walking away from it, has no right to demand the Security Council to invoke a snap-back.

China will continue to work with all parties to make unremitting efforts to maintain JCPOA and actively promote the political and diplomatic settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue.

Thank you, Madam Chair.