Russia expresses readiness to facilitate ‘direct negotiations’ between Iran and U.S.

September 2, 2020 - 0:5

TEHRAN - Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday that Moscow is ready to facilitate a direct dialogue between Iran and the U.S. amid heightened tensions between the two countries over the U.S. bid to restore international sanctions on Iran.

“We support direct negotiations between Iran and the U.S. and stand ready to help them begin the negotiations,” IRNA quoted Lavrov as saying.

The chief Russian diplomat made the remarks in a speech delivered to an audience of teachers and students of MGIMO University on Tuesday.

He went further to say, “We are ready to hold talks with the two sides in order to pave the way for the direct talks [between Tehran and Washington] if they both are interested [in negotiations]. We think that it’s better to directly address differences and issues and get answers.”

Lavrov also pointed to the U.S. efforts to restore the UN sanctions on Iran, saying that the U.S. had no legal authority to trigger the snapback process, a mechanism built into the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to allow parties to the deal to snap back all UN sanctions on Iran in case it didn’t uphold its commitments under the nuclear deal.

“Although it has pulled out of the JCPOA, the United States is now trying to use the complex legal mechanism, established under this agreement, which envisages the possibility of reintroducing UN sanctions against Iran and canceled in 2015 after the conclusion of the JCPOA,” Lavrov said, adding that “the United States has lost all of JCPOA rights because it pulled out of it.”

Moscow ratcheted up criticism of Washington over its bid to trigger the snapback process ahead of a JCPOA Joint Commission’s meeting in Vienna on Tuesday.
Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s permanent representative to the Vienna-based international organizations, managed to take a jab at the U.S. moments before the meeting kicks off.

“The meeting of the Joint Commission on JCPOA with the participation of all real (not self- proclaimed) participants of the nuclear deal will start in Vienna in a few hours. Consultations in different formats are already underway,” tweeted Ulyanov.

JCPOA parties discussed “important issues” at the meeting, according to Saeed Khatibzadeh, the spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry.

“The JCPOA Joint Commission has started in Vienna. Important issues on the agenda of today's meeting.” Khatibzadeh tweeted at the start of the meeting.

SKM/PA

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