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Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at the UN Security Council Briefing on the Iranian Nuclear Issue

2023-12-19 11:00

Mr. President,

At the outset, I would like to thank Under-Secretary-General Rose Mary Di Carlo, EU Head of Delegation Ambassador Olong Soog and Ambassador Vanessa Frazier of Malta for their briefings. 

The JCPOA is an important outcome of multilateral diplomacy endorsed by the Security Council. It is a key pillar for the maintenance of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime, and of the peace and stability in the Middle East. In the current context of heightened Israeli-Palestinian tensions and the spillover effects, the agreement has become ever more important. As an old Chinese saying goes, a boat sailing against the current must forge ahead, or it will be driven back. The current stalemate in the compliance negotiations is unsustainable. China calls on all parties concerned to make critical decisions by showing political wisdom and a stronger sense of urgency, so as to reach consensus as soon as possible on the resumption of the full and effective implementation of the JCPOA. In this connection, I wish to share four points. 

First, the JCPOA is the only right path to resolving the Iranian nuclear issue. All parties need to cherish the hard-won results of the negotiations and, on the basis of the test from August last year, stay positive and flexible to address the legitimate concerns of all parties in a balanced manner, so as to resume talks as soon as possible and bring the agreement back to the right track at an early date. China supports the EU as coordinator of the JCPOA in continuing to play a key coordinating role in this regard. The IAEA shall follow the principles of objectivity, neutrality, and impartiality, and engage in constructive dialogue and cooperation with Iran on safeguards and monitoring issues. 

Second, the United States, as the initiator of the Iranian nuclear crisis, should recognize its own responsibilities, demonstrate political sincerity, fulfill its commitments under the JCPOA, and life without delay its unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction measures against Iran and third parties. The recent irresponsible nuclear threat statements by Israeli officials have heightened global concern of the Israeli nuclear issue. China once again urges certain countries to stop applying double standards on nuclear non-proliferation, actively support the establishment of a nuclear weapon free zone in the Middle East, and promote Israel's early accession to the NPT as a non-nuclear free state and the placement of all its nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards. 

Third, this year’s deliberations at the IAEA Board of Governors on the Iranian nuclear issue have generally been smooth so far, while the Security Council's restrictive measures on Iran's missile program have been lifted as scheduled. At the same time, the Iranian nuclear situation remains sensitive and fragile. At this critical juncture, All parties concerned should stop linking the Iranian nuclear negotiations with other issues, and should stop using the Iranian nuclear issue to serve geopolitical purposes, refrain from taking any steps that might aggravate conflicts and escalate the situation. All parties should stay committed to bolstering dialogue instead of triggering confrontation, creating opportunities rather than crises, and seeking cooperation instead of exerting pressure at will. 

Fourth, against the backdrop of the intensified Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Middle East cannot afford to be shaken by another security crisis and urgently needs to see a fundamental shift from chaos to peace and stability. China calls on all parties to act on the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security, uphold the principle of the indivisibility of security, built regional security architecture that takes on board the legitimate concerns of all parties, and enhance mutual trust and consensus building, so as to create conditions for lasting peace. Certain countries outside the region should put aside their narrow geopolitical self-interests, and stop political maneuvering and the erroneous practice of deliberately creating hostilities and inciting confrontation in the region. Instead, they should make concrete contributions to the maintenance of regional security. 

Mr. President, 

As a permanent member of the Council at a party to the JCPOA, China has always been committed to upholding the validity of the agreement and the authority of the Council resolutions, and has been working to promote political and diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear issue. We will continue to take an objective and impartial position, stay engaged with the parties concerned, and play a positive and constructive role in bringing the JCPOA back to the right track at an early date, so as to safeguard the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and peace and stability in the Middle East. 

Thank you, Mr. President.

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