Russia eyes close cooperation with EU on JCPOA, Lavrov says

February 5, 2021 - 22:39

TEHRAN - The chief Russian diplomat has said his country would continue to work with the European Union on the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and hopes that the United States would decide to return to the deal in the near future.

Speaking at a joint news conference with European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday that the Kremlin is ready to work with the EU on implementing the Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“We have entered a difficult period concerning the Iran deal, and everything depends on the actions of the United States. We hope that the United States will soon be able to explain its actions concerning Iran,” Lavrov said, according to Fars News.

He pointed out that Russia and the EU will continue to work with the Europeans on the JCPOA.

“We [Russia and the European Union] continue to work together to ensure the implementation of the JCPOA. We hope that this U.S. administration will be able to decide whether to return to this important international document. This agreement is a means to strengthen the non-proliferation regime and reduce regional tensions,” Lavrov continued.

According to UrduPoint, Lavrov said, "We are approaching a critical moment. We are counting on the U.S. administration, as the country that negotiated and concluded the JCPOA, to decide the extent to which it can return to the most important international document, which has been recognized as an achievement of multilateral diplomacy and has served as an example of the efforts that need to be made both to defuse tensions and to strengthen the nuclear nonproliferation regime."

On the other hand, Borrell also expressed Europe’s readiness to work with Russia on international issues such as the JCPOA.

“On the international arena, I think that the minister has made reference to that, there are places and issues on which we can also work together: the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is a good example,” the chief EU diplomat said.

Borrell called for maximum diplomacy with Iran before making a trip to Moscow.

“We need to move from 'maximum pressure' to 'maximum diplomacy' through the JCPOA Joint Commission,” Borrell told Interfax news agency.

He reminded how former U.S. President Donald Trump undermined the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers through his “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran.

Earlier on Tuesday, Russian state media reported that Maria Zakharova also expressed Moscow’s readiness to work with the United States on salvaging the Iran nuclear deal.

“We look forward to working closely with the members of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to achieve this goal (preserving the JCPOA) and to engage constructively with the new U.S. administration in this regard,” Zakharova was quoted by Sputnik News as saying.  

On Wednesday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and Deputy Secretary General for Political Affairs of the European External Action Service Enrique Mora discussed the JCPOA in a meeting in Moscow.

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