China: Iran nuclear issue at 'critical juncture'

China: Iran nuclear issue at 'critical juncture'
Iran's uranium production is far higher than the 2015 nuclear deal stipulated, worrying Europe and the US.
2 min read
The reactor building at the Russian-built Bushehr nuclear power plant [Getty]

China said Tuesday that signatories of the Iran nuclear deal should urge the United States to return to the agreement, a day after Iran began enriching uranium to levels unseen since the 2015 deal.

"The Iranian nuclear issue is currently at a critical juncture, and the situation is very complex," said Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying.

"China urges all parties to maintain calmness and restraint, comply with the consensus on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), avoid actions that would increase tensions, and leave room for diplomatic efforts and for the situation to turn around."

As well as rejoining the deal, the U.S. should "lift all relevant sanctions, so as to create conditions for the agreement to get back on track," Hua added.

Read more: Fakhrizadeh's assassination: A new diplomatic obstacle for Biden's Iran policy

U.S. President Donald Trump’s team recently dispatched B-52 bombers to the Persian Gulf in response to alleged Iranian attack planning.

It also reversed an order to bring home the USS Nimitz, the only U.S. aircraft carrier in the region.

On Monday, Iran not only announced it had resumed advanced uranium enrichment in violation of the 2015 nuclear deal but also seized a South Korean-flagged oil tanker and its crew.

This combination, coming just two weeks before the U.S. president-elect’s inauguration, threatens to derail or at least delay Biden's hopes to return his country to the nuclear accord that Trump withdrew from in 2018.

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