Beijing backs European countries' unveiling of the Instrument for Supporting Trade Exchanges for facilitating trade with Iran and preserving the Iran nuclear deal, the Foreign Ministry said on Friday.
Speaking at a regular news conference, ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the creation of the trading instrument demonstrates the resolve of the Europe to uphold multilateralism.
The foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany said in a joint statement on Thursday that they created the instrument to support legitimate European trade with Iran, focusing initially on the sectors most essential to the Iranian population, such as pharmaceuticals, medical devices and food.
Noting that the instrument will follow a step-by-step approach, the statement said the long-term goal is openness to economic operators from third countries that want to trade with Iran.
"China firmly supports the European side in cooperating with Iran, putting the instrument into operation at an early date and allowing it to be open to third parties in a bid to help the international community develop normal trade relations with Iran," Geng said.
He added that China also resolutely supports the European Union's political and diplomatic efforts in taking the lead to preserve the Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which was endorsed by the United Nations in Security Council Resolution 2231.
The Iran nuclear deal was inked in July 2015 by Iran, Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, the United States and the EU. But the US quit the deal in May 2018 and imposed sanctions on Iran. The other parties remain steadfast in upholding the deal.
Geng said China maintains, as always, that the Iran nuclear deal is an important multilateral accomplishment that should be fully and effectively implemented.
China hopes relevant parties will stay committed to resolving the nuclear issue through political means by keeping the big picture in mind, maintaining a long-term perspective and preserving the deal, he added.