Russian ambassador: U.S. to bear guilt for possible collapse of JCPOA

May 31, 2019 - 17:9

TEHRAN – Russia’s ambassador to Iran says the U.S. is to be accountable for a probable collapse of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, from which Washington withdrew in 2018.

In an interview with the Russian newspaper Izvestia, Levan Dzhagaryan said Moscow is trying to persuade Tehran to refrain from exiting from the deal, adding that only the U.S. will be to blame for a collapse of the accord if the Russian efforts fail.

Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May 2018 and ordered sanctions on Iran. This happened despite the fact that the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is tasked to monitor Iran’s compliance with the terms of the JCPOA, has issued numerous reports each time confirming Tehran’s full commitment to the multinational agreement. 

However, on May 8, the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) issued a statement declaring partial suspension of its undertakings under the JCPOA. The SNSC said if the remaining parties to the JCPOA fail to reach an agreement to redress sanctions, Iran will take the next steps. The ultimatum is for two months.

“There is still some time left for diplomacy. Together with our nuclear deal partners, we will continue to work to prevent events from developing under a negative scenario,” Dzhagaryan said, according to a translation of the interview provided by Russia’s Tass news agency.

He also said, “Of course, Iran’s potential pullout from the JCPOA and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) will be regrettable.”

“At this stage, we are continuing explanatory work with the Iranians, cautioning them against refusing to honor their commitments under both the nuclear deal and the Additional Protocol to the IAEA Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement, whose provisions, by the way, Tehran complies with on a voluntary basis. If Iran, nevertheless, decides to quit the JCPOA, the responsibility for the collapse of that international recognized agreement will lie entirely with the U.S., which grossly violated its obligations, withdrew from the JCPOA and continues to step up pressure on Tehran by imposing illegitimate unilateral sanctions,” the Russian ambassador stressed.

On the prospect of Iran’s cooperation with international associations, particularly with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the ambassador said Moscow supports Tehran’s desire to be granted full-fledged membership in the SCO.

“We expect the issue to be discussed in detail during the organization’s next summit in Bishkek scheduled for June 13-14,” he added.

Asked about plans to lift visa restrictions for Russian and Iranian travelers, the ambassador said the two countries’ foreign ministers had recently signed a protocol on the amendments to the 2015 intergovernmental agreement on mutual travels.

“This document provides for issuing visas to entrepreneurs based on written requests from interested organizations, government agencies or local authorities. That, of course, can be a positive impetus for intensifying ties between the two countries’ business communities,” Dzhagaryan concluded.


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