By staff and agency

Russia says will pursue diplomatic efforts to save nuclear deal

July 8, 2019

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that Russia will pursue diplomatic efforts to save the 2015 nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

“Russia aims to continue dialogue and efforts on the diplomatic front. We are still supporters of the JCPOA,” AFP quoted Peskov as saying.

Pointing to Iran’s action in reducing its nuclear commitments, he said the announcement by Iran is one of the “consequences” of the United States abandoning the landmark deal.

“Russia and President (Vladimir) Putin warned of the consequences that would be imminent after one of the countries decided to end its obligations and exit the deal,” Peskov said.

Iran officially announced on Sunday it has started enriching uranium to a higher purity than the current 3.67%, as the Europeans missed a 60-day deadline by Tehran to devise a concrete mechanism to protect the country from the U.S. sanctions.

In a post on his Twitter page on Sunday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said, “Today, Iran is taking its second round of remedial steps under Para 36 of the JCPOA. We reserve the right to continue to exercise legal remedies within JCPOA to protect our interests in the face of US #EconomicTerrorism. All such steps are reversible only through E3 compliance.”

Paragraph 36 provided a mechanism to resolve disputes and allows one side, under certain circumstances, to stop complying with the deal if the other side is out of compliance.

E3 includes the three European countries of Britain, France and Germany which are party to the JCPOA.

On May 8, Iran’s Supreme National Council (SNSC) declared Tehran’s exit from “certain” obligations under the landmark agreement and gave a 60-day deadline to the remaining JCPOA signatories to protect Iran’s interests against U.S. sanctions, or it will restart high-level uranium enrichment.

Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s permanent representative to international organizations in Vienna, said on Sunday that Moscow understands the reason behind Iran’s steps in reducing commitments under the JCPOA.

“We understand the steps taken [by Iran], the reasons that pushed the Iranians to take them. We call on Iran to refrain from further actions that could complicate the situation with the nuclear deal even more,” he told Sputnik.

It will be possible to determine by how much Iran had increased its uranium enrichment limit in a few days, he added, stressing that a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency on Iran’s uranium enrichment levels may be presented at a special session of the agency’s governing board on July 10.

“In any case, there is space to continue diplomatic efforts, they will be continued,” Ulyanov noted.

Behrouz Kamalvandi, a top official at Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, announced on Monday that level of uranium enrichment has reached 4.5 percent. He said this degree of enrichment is enough to power nuclear plants producing electricity. 

NA/PA

Leave a Comment

9 + 5 =