Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has said the US would be making a grave mistake by pulling out of Iran’s nuclear deal and underlined Moscow’s determination to keep the landmark accord intact.
“We are gradually coming to the conclusion that an internal decision by the US to leave the (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) has already been made or is close to being made,” Ryabkov said in an interview with Interfax news agency on Saturday.
“This could be one of Washington’s big foreign policy mistakes, a big miscalculation in American policy,” he added.
On Friday, US President Donald Trump extended waivers of economic sanctions on Iran for another 120 days but said he was doing so “for the last time.”
Although the US president declined to withdraw from the Iran deal — which he has long railed against and formerly promised to “rip up” — he gave a four-month deadline to the US Congress and America’s main European allies to address what he called the “disastrous flaws” of the deal.
The agreement, reached between Iran and the P5+1 countries — the US, the UK, France, China, Russia and Germany — puts limitations on parts of Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for removing all nuclear-related sanctions.
A decision to reimpose sanctions would have effectively ended the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement.
Ryabkov stressed that Russia must unite with Europe and China and undertake “intense work” to keep the existing agreement intact, adding, “In what we heard yesterday, I do not see any invitation for Iran to enter dialogue. This defies the logic of the agreement.”
“Russia will do everything in its power to save the agreement,” he noted.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry announced on Saturday that the country would commit to no obligation beyond those it has already agreed to under the JCPOA.
The European parties to the deal, China and Russia have made it clear that they will not reopen negotiations on the deal, which they say is working as it is; and Trump’s demands could thus only be addressed by domestic US law, with no jurisdiction over Iran or the International Atomic Energy Agency, and with no direct effect on the JCPOA.
From (L-R), French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini give a press conference at the EU headquarters in Brussels following a meeting about the Iran nuclear deal on January 11, 2018. (Photo by AFP)
Iran, too, has been abundantly clear that it will not renegotiate the deal.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran stresses clearly that it will take no measures beyond its commitments under the JCPOA and will accept no changes to this agreement now or in the future and will not allow that the JCPOA be linked to any other issue [than the nuclear issue],” the Iranian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.