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China, Iran say US return to JCPOA, sanctions lift ‘key’ to breaking nuclear deadlock

Deputy Foreign Ministers Ma Zhaoxu of China and Seyed Abbas Araghchi of Iran had a call on Monday.

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Beijing: Beijing and Tehran believe that the United States’ return to the Iran nuclear deal and sanctions lift are vital to resolving the nuclear impasse, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said after a bilateral call.

Deputy Foreign Ministers Ma Zhaoxu of China and Seyed Abbas Araghchi of Iran had a call on Monday.

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“The main topic of the conversation was an exchange of views on the Iran nuclear program. The sides stressed that the situation around the Iranian dossier is rapidly changing, and there are both opportunities and challenges. The speedy return of the United States to the JCPOA and the lifting of sanctions on Iran are the key to breaking the deadlock over the Iranian nuclear program,” the Chinese ministry said.

The diplomats noted that the countries concerned should seize an opportunity to promote a political and diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear issue and protect peace and stability in the Middle East.

The call came as the US said that it would accept an invitation to attend an EU-proposed meeting of signatories to the Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, in turn, called for lifting sanctions that the US reinstated after leaving the multilateral accord in 2018.

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