By staff and agency

Moscow calls on all countries to keep buying Iranian oil

May 10, 2019 - 19:42

The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Thursday calling on all countries to continue buying Iranian oil despite the U.S. announcement to end sanctions waivers for importers of Iranian oil.

“We urge everyone to not turn off such economic ties, including purchase of Iranian products, primarily energy resources. We insist that Washington must stop any actions that impede the interaction of other states with Iran in the financial, economic, political and other spheres,” the statement said, according to Sputnik.

Iran informed on Wednesday the ambassadors of the UK, France, Germany, China and Russia of its decision to suspend some of its obligations under the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The Russian Foreign Ministry added in the statement, “We are treating with understanding the decision of the Islamic Republic of Iran to suspend the fulfilment of some of its voluntary assumed obligations under the JCPOA… At the same time, we urge Iran to refrain from taking further steps to curtail the fulfilment of obligations under the JCPOA. We urge all the state parties to the nuclear deal to comply with their obligations under the Action Plan; speed up the implementation of projects coordinated in accordance with comprehensive agreements, in particular the modernization of the reactor in Arak.”

On Wednesday, President Rouhani officially announced that Iran stops selling stockpiles of enriched uranium and heavy water for 60 days in response to the U.S. exit from the JCPOA and a failure by the European Union to cushion the blow. 

The suspension took effect on Wednesday, May 8.

“This announcement is for 60 days. We have announced to the other side, the five countries [Germany, France, UK, Russia and China], that if they come to the negotiating table in 60 days and we reach a conclusion and safeguard our main interests which are oil [sale] and banking relations, we will return to the previous situation of May 7, 2019,” Rouhani told a cabinet meeting.

However, he warned, if any conclusion is not reached, Iran will resume enriching uranium and will not follow obligations under the JCPOA according to which its uranium enrichment should not exceed the purity level of 3.67 percent.

Under the JCPOA, Iran was only allowed to keep 300 kilograms of enriched uranium. Also, based on the agreement, Iran was authorized to exchange heavy water for importation of yellow cake.

“No word reduced or added. The JCPOA is the same JCPOA and will not change. However, we are ready to sit at the negotiating table to better implement it and make your implementation of the commitments better,” Rouhani explained.

Under the JCPOA, endorsed by the UN Security Council Resolution 2231, Iran was tasked to put limits on its nuclear activities in exchange for termination of economic and financial sanctions. However, since Trump pulled the U.S. out of the JCPOA, the European countries cut banking ties with Iran, stopped purchasing Iranian oil, annulled agreements, and their companies left Iran one after another.

Trump’s exit from the JCPOA and Europeans’ refusal to respect their obligations happened despite the fact that International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has issued 14 reports each time confirming that Iran has been fully abiding by the terms of the agreement.


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