Russian senator blames U.S. actions against Iran for regional tension

July 7, 2019

TEHRAN - Russian Senator Frants Klintsevich has said that the U.S. hostile actions against Iran have caused tension in the region.

According to IRNA, Klintsevich said that Iran’s second step in reducing its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal - the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action - was expected and is the result of the U.S. withdrawal from the agreement.

“It is obvious that other signatories to the deal may not like this action of Iran. However, Iran defends its own security and I believe that the U.S. threats against Iran in this respect are useless,” he said.

On Sunday, Iran officially announced the start of enriching uranium to a higher purity than the current 3.67%. The move came as the Europeans missed the 60-day deadline set by Tehran to protect it from U.S. sanctions.

The announcement was made in a joint news conference by Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, government spokesman Ali Rabiei, and Atomic Energy Organization spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi in Tehran.

Kamalvandi said Iran is increasing uranium enrichment from the current 3.67% to a level that fulfills the needs of its power plants.

Tension between Tehran and Washington has increased since Trump withdrew the U.S. from the 2015 nuclear deal in May 2018 and introduced harsh sanctions against Iran.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Tuesday that Iran is not the cause of instability in the Persian Gulf and that sanctions against the country are “unlawful”.

“As regards restrictions on Iranian exports, we support Iran and we believe that the sanctions are unlawful; they have not been approved by the UN,” Novak told CNBC.

He added that he didn’t think Iran should be considered as the cause of the unstable situation in the region.

“These steps seriously destabilize the situation, not only in Iran, upon whom the sanctions have been imposed, but, as we can all see, in the entire region around the Persian Gulf,” he said.

NA/PA

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