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5 Jan, 2021 10:06

China plays the peacemaker, urging ‘calm’ and ‘restraint’ following Iran’s uranium enrichment announcement

China plays the peacemaker, urging ‘calm’ and ‘restraint’ following Iran’s uranium enrichment announcement

Beijing has called on all parties to seek a diplomatic outcome following Tehran’s announcement that it had resumed 20 percent uranium enrichment at an underground nuclear facility, reneging on the 2015 nuclear deal.

Speaking on Tuesday during a regular press briefing, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, urged “calm and restraint” after Iran announced that it would be resuming its uranium enrichment program on Monday. 

“The situation is very complex and sensitive,” Hua told journalists. She called on all parties to follow the correct and necessary steps to reach a comprehensive agreement on Iran’s nuclear program as well as “avoiding taking steps to exacerbate the situation.” 

The top priority is that all parties should push the United States to return to the comprehensive agreement as soon as possible and unconditionally, as well as lift all relevant sanctions.

The spokeswoman asserted that a diplomatic outcome and getting the US to return to the negotiating table must be the only way forward. 

Iran announced on Monday that it has restarted the production of 20 percent enriched uranium at its Fordow site, which is higher than the 3.67 percent level agreed in the 2015 pact, but still far below the 90 percent level that is considered weapons-grade. 

Also on rt.com Iran says it started enriching uranium to 20%, drifting further away from US-violated nuclear deal 

In 2015, the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, the US under President Barack Obama, the UK, Russia, France, and China, plus Germany, reached an agreement with Iran over its nuclear program, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The deal saw Iran’s ambitions capped and sanctions removed.

Tehran began deviating from the nuclear agreement in 2019 following President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the pact in 2018. Trump’s withdrawal from the deal has also seen crippling sanctions imposed on Iran.

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