By staff and agency

‘Russia to make efforts to preserve nuclear deal’

September 6, 2019 - 19:34

Russian State Duma’s (lower house) Foreign Affairs Committee Leonid Slutsky said on Friday that Moscow will push ahead with efforts to preserve the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

“Russia has always been committed to the implementation of the JCPOA by all parties. For our part, we will push ahead with efforts to preserve the Iran deal at various levels, including the parliamentary one, and draft a working mechanism to salvage it,” TASS quoted him as saying in a post on his Telegram channel.

He also said that Washington is trying to force Iran to abandon the nuclear deal and push the European Union towards reimposing sanctions.

“The United States is pursuing an obvious objective: to force Iran to abandon the nuclear deal altogether and therefore push Europeans towards restoring the anti-Iran package of restrictive measures under U.S. control. The White House hopes to achieve a regime change in Tehran by reimposing the U.S. and EU sanctions, strengthening Iran’s political isolation and whipping up tensions in the Persian Gulf region in general,” he said.

He also said that Washington’s willingness to hold talks with Iran should not be taken seriously. 

“Unlike North Korea, Iran has neither nuclear weapons nor missiles capable of reaching U.S. territory. So, the only direct dialogue with Tehran that Washington could foster is unconditional surrender [under the U.S. scenario],” he said.

Commenting on Iran’s action in reducing commitments under the JCPOA, Slutsky said that was “a response to new U.S. anti-Iran sanctions and the EU’s inability to launch the promised financial mechanism to bypass them and compensate for losses from Washington’s policy to reduce Iranian oil exports to zero.”

On Thursday, President Hassan Rouhani said Iran is taking the third step of reducing its commitments under the nuclear deal. According to Rouhani, the new step removes limits on nuclear research and development (R&D).

The details of the third step will be announced in a press conference by nuclear spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi on Saturday, September 7.

On May 8, exactly one year after the U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA, Tehran began reducing its commitments to the agreement at bi-monthly intervals.

In follow-up to that deadline, on July 7 Iran announced that it has started enriching uranium to a higher purity than the 3.67% as the Europeans missed the 60-day deadline to devise a concrete mechanism to protect the country from the U.S. sanctions.

In a letter to European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Thursday, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced that Iran stopped implementing all commitments related to nuclear research and development.

“Today, the Iranian foreign minister sent a letter to Mogherini, announcing that the Islamic Republic of Iran stops all commitments in the area of research and development under the JCPOA because of consequences of the United States’ withdrawal from the deal and the three European countries’ failure to implement their commitments,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said.

Iran has announced if the European Union as a signatory to the deal protects it from the sanctions effect it will reverse its decision.

NA/PA

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