By staff and agency

Lavrov blames U.S. for events surrounding nuclear deal

November 8, 2019

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday called on Iran to fulfill the terms of its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, but said Moscow understood why Tehran was cutting back on its commitments, the New York Times reported.

Speaking to reporters in Moscow, Lavrov said events unfolding around the nuclear deal were extremely alarming. He blamed the situation on the United States, which pulled out of the pact and re-imposed sanctions on Tehran.

Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, also said Moscow was also “monitoring the development of the situation with concern” and supported “the preservation of this deal.”

At the same time, Peskov said Russia understood Tehran’s concerns over the “unprecedented and illegal sanctions” against the country.

On Tuesday, President Rouhani ordered the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) to inject uranium gas into 1,044 IR-6 centrifuges at the Fordow nuclear enrichment plant.  

It was the fourth step by Iran to reduce its commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal in response to the abrogation of the deal by the U.S. and return of sanction coupled with inaction by the European Union and its big trio to shield Iran from sanctions.

The EU on Tuesday voiced concern over Iran’s nuclear announcement.

“We are concerned by President Rouhani’s announcement today to further reduce Iran’s commitments under the JCPOA,” EU spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic told reporters.

In his Tuesday announcement, Rouhani reiterated Tehran’s long-held position that Iran will reverse its decision if Europe protects the Islamic Republic from sanctions.

France called on Tehran to reverse its decision to resume enrichment, saying it “goes against the Vienna agreement, which strictly limits activities in this area.”

French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll said Paris remained committed to the accord and urged Iran to “fully adhere to its obligations and to cooperate fully with the IAEA,” according to Reuters.

‘JCPOA is still alive’

Lavrov also said that despite the U.S. moves, the JCPOA has not been undermined.

According to IRNA, he added all signatories are equally responsible to preserve the international agreement.

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