Published: 12:50, August 15, 2020 | Updated: 19:57, June 5, 2023
China envoy asks US to change course over Iran nuclear issue
By Xinhua

In this Sept 12, 2019 photo, Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the UN, speaks at UN headquarters in New York. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

UNITED NATIONS - China's UN Ambassador Zhang Jun on Friday asked the United States to change course over the Iran nuclear issue and return to the right track of multilateralism.

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In an explanation of vote after the Security Council rejected a US draft resolution that sought to extend the arms embargo against Iran, Zhang said the voting result once again shows that unilateralism receives no support, and bullying will fail. Any attempt to place one's own interest above the common interests of the international community is a dead end.

China's UN Ambassador Zhang Jun said the voting result once again shows that unilateralism receives no support, and bullying will fail

The draft only received two votes in favor. China and Russia voted against it, and the remaining 11 Security Council members, including the European allies of the United States, abstained.

In recent years, Zhang said, in pursuing unilateralism and "America first," the United States has abandoned its international obligations and withdrawn from multilateral agreements and international organizations, shattering its own credibility.

China urges the United States to abandon unilateralism and stop unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction. The United States should adopt a reasonable and realistic attitude, and return to the right track of observing the Iran nuclear deal and Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorsed the 2015 deal between Iran and the six powers of Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States, he said.

The United States unilaterally announced its withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018 and later re-imposed sanctions on Iran.

Diplomacy is the only right way forward, and preserving and implementing the Iran nuclear deal is of vital importance, said Zhang, asking for efforts to facilitate dialogue and consultation among relevant parties.

China will continue to work with the international community to jointly uphold the Iran nuclear deal and Security Council Resolution 2231, and it will always be on the side of international fairness and justice, world peace and stability, and multilateralism, and work hard for the political settlement of the Iran nuclear issue, he said.

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The US draft resolution is about re-imposing sanctions on Iran and a continuation of the policy of maximum pressure, and has no legal ground and common sense, Zhang said, noting that the overwhelming majority of the Security Council members have expressed reservations about the draft and believe that the US attempt has no legal basis.

Under Resolution 2231, the arms embargo against Iran expires on Oct 18, 2020.

The United States has repeatedly claimed that it will invoke the "snapback" mechanism within the Security Council should its draft resolution fail to pass, Zhang noted.

Having withdrawn from the Iran nuclear deal, the United States is no longer a participant of the deal, and therefore ineligible to demand the Security Council invoke a snapback, he said.

Should the United States insist in disregard of international opinion, its attempt is doomed to fail again, he said.

Under Resolution 2231, any participant state to the Iran nuclear deal can notify the Security Council about an issue that it considers a significant violation of the agreement. The UN sanctions in place before the adoption of Resolution 2231 in July 2015 would then resume 30 days after the notification, unless the Security Council adopts a resolution to decide otherwise.