By staff and agency

Russia to safeguard its cooperation with Iran: Ryabkov

November 10, 2019

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Saturday that Russia will safeguard its cooperation with Iran against the United States’ sanctions.

“We are fully committed to not only maintaining the current level of cooperation with Tehran but also expanding this cooperation. We are developing numerous projects in the economy and trade ... And the stronger the U.S. tries to make the conditions for us more difficult, the stronger will be our mutual [with Iran] commitment to finding ways to make this cooperation resistant to these very toxic U.S. actions,” Urdu Point quoted Ryabkov as saying at the Moscow Nonproliferation Conference.

Elsewhere, he said, “The hypothetical final breakdown of the JCPOA will lead to a new major crisis in the Middle East.”

He also said that attempts to prevent Iran from the opportunity to develop a peaceful nuclear program are mere “pipe dreams.”

“It is clear that some would like Tehran to have no nuclear program at all, but these are pipe dreams, which are an incomplete contradiction with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons [NPT],” Ryabkov said.

Speaking to reporters in Moscow on Wednesday, he said events unfolding around the nuclear deal were extremely alarming. He blamed the situation on the U.S., 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 “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.

NA/PA

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