TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - Speaking at a press briefing in Beijing on Monday, a spokeswoman for Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hua Chunying, made the comments in response to a question about a meeting of the foreign ministers of the remaining signatories to the nuclear accord, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in the Austrian capital Vienna on Friday.
The top diplomats from France, Germany, Britain, Russia, China and Iran met for the first time since US President Donald Trump pulled Washington out from the deal in May.
"Facing the complicated and stern situation at present, China clearly put up a five-point proposal emphasizing in particular that international rules should be observed, major countries should show their due integrity and sense of responsibility, unilateral sanctions can only run counter to one's desire and should be abandoned, and dialogs and consultations should adhered to a constructive approach in discussions about issues of common concerns," Hua said.
The US president announced on May 8 that Washington was walking away from the nuclear agreement and that he plans to reinstate US nuclear sanctions on Iran and impose "the highest level" of economic bans on the Islamic Republic.
Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Friday that all the remaining signatories to the 2015 nuclear agreement have political will to stand up to the United States' move to withdraw from the deal.
However, he warned that if the European sides failed to properly fulfill their commitments, Iran would take its own measures to counter the US withdrawal from the JCPOA.
The Chinese spokesperson further pointed to the current "critical conjuncture" of the JCPOA and said, "The convening of this foreign ministers' meeting in itself embodies all parties' support for the deal."
She added that the foreign ministers issued a joint statement which "sent out a positive political signal" and noted that the JCPOA parties "demonstrated their clear-cut will to safeguard the deal."
Hua also noted that participants at the Vienna meeting confirmed that Britain together with China would take over the work to modernize Iran's Arak heavy water reactor after the US withdrawal from the JCPOA.
"All parties spoke highly of China for its responsible and constructive attitude, including the stable progress of the renovation of the Arak heavy water reactor led by China," she said.
The spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) said in June that the country would soon start re-building the Arak heavy water reactor once China finishes examining the last phase of the re-designing process.
China and Iran “have had several contracts that are now operational and various steps of conceptual, basic and detailed designing are completed and after that the construction phase will begin,” Behrouz Kamalvandi said.
Hua further said Beijing would continue to do its part in the face of the future "tough challenges" to the nuclear deal.
"There is still a long way to go in terms of safeguarding and implementing the Iranian nuclear deal. China will continue making efforts to safeguard the results of multilateralism. China will never accept any unilateral sanctions that are not based on international laws and will firmly uphold its own legitimate rights and interests," she pointed out.
Speaking at a joint news conference with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu following their meeting in Beijing in June, China's State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said dialog and cooperation are key to maintaining the multilateral nuclear agreement.