The United States unilaterally withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and has no right to demand the United Nations Security Council launch the snapback mechanism to restore sanctions against Iran, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said Friday.
Noting that the United States is no longer a participant to the JCPOA, spokesperson Zhao Lijian told a press briefing that the participants of the JCPOA and the vast majority of members of the Security Council believe that the U.S. request had no legal basis, and the mechanism has not been activated yet.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday officially notified the UN that the United States was asking to activate the snapback mechanism, endorsed by UN Security Council, Resolution 2231. He claimed that the Security Council will restore all UN sanctions on Iran in 30 days.
China noted the letter sent by the United States, the Permanent Mission of China to the UN already stated China’s position, the spokesperson said, adding pertinent participants including China, Russia, Britain, France, Germany and Iran have sent letters to the Security Council chair. British, French and German foreign ministers also issued a statement to express opposition to the U.S. move.
“The U.S. demand of re-imposition of United Nations sanctions on Iran is nothing but a self-serving political manipulation,” the spokesperson said.
The United States has walked away from commitments, withdrawn from international organizations and treaties, harmed multilateralism and the authority of the Security Council, and undermined international non-proliferation regime. Its move to push for a resolution or send a letter to the Security Council cannot justify its above-mentioned behaviors, he said.
The spokesperson noted that on Aug. 14, a U.S.-sponsored draft resolution to extend arms embargo on Iran was put to vote at the Security Council, which was voted against by 13 members unequivocally with only one member voted for it, leaving the United States isolated like never before.
“This fully demonstrates that the U.S. unilateral position runs counter to the wide consensus of the international community and its attempt to sabotage the JCPOA will never succeed. We urge the United States to stop going down the wrong path, otherwise it will only meet further opposition,” Zhao said.
It takes equal-footed dialogue and candid consultations rather than sanctions, pressuring or even military threat, to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue, the spokesperson said.
To uphold the JCPOA and the authority of the UN Security Council resolution, maintain the international non-proliferation regime and safeguard regional peace and stability, China stands ready to work with other parties to find a proper solution and move forward the political and diplomatic settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue, he added.