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Putin cautions unilateral actions on Iran deal lead to dead end

May 25, 18:00 UTC+3

On May 8, US President Donald Trump announced Washington’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal

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© AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi

ST. PETERSBURG, May 25. /TASS/. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear program has been fixed in a United Nations Security Council resolution and any unilateral actions concerning this deal will lead to a dead end, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday.

"The so-called Iran nuclear deal has been fixed in a relevant resolution of the United Nations Security Council. It is a multilateral legal document. And if we want our actions to be predictable, we must stick to commonly recognized rules. Unilateral actions lead to a dead end and are always counterproductive," Putin said at a plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

"All of us, participants in this process, must speak to each other openly to find a solution," Putin stressed.

He said he had discussed this problem with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, om Thursday. "And it eventually came to mind: the United States holds presidential elections every four years, and if international documents are signed and revised every three to four years, what is the planning time-frame in such a mode of work? Zero," he said, adding that it "creates an atmosphere of nervousness and mistrust."

He emphasized that the "right path to stability and mutually acceptable solutions" lied through respectful attitude to agreements.

"If this deal is ruined eventually, than indeed there will be many losers. We must do our best not to see this happen. And for this, it is important to work with all participants in the process, first of all the United States," the Russian president stressed.

Putin said he could not agree with French President Emmanuel Macron that US President Doland Trump had lost in unilaterally pulling out of the deal.

"I don’t think US President Donald Trump has lost. Firstly, he is meeting his election commitments, and in this sense he has even won to a certain extent in terms of domestic policy. But if this deal is ruined eventually, there may be many losers," Putin explained.

The Iran nuclear deal is not lost altogether after the United States unilaterally pulled out from it, he said. "It might be a two-way road so tensions should not be whipped up here. As long as we want to preserve anything, the doors should be left open for the international process to achieve the final result. I suppose all is not lost," Putin said commenting on prospects for the Iran nuclear deal.

Prior to that, the Russian president disclosed some details of the deal. In particular, Putin said that in fact the talks were held between the United States and Iran, while the rest participants just somehow made amendments to negotiation.

"Anyhow, all came down to one common denominator after rather detailed bilateral talks between Iran and the United States. However, despite all difficulties, both sides managed to come to an agreement then. Now the US president has not shut the door on the talks, but he says he is not satisfied with many things in it. In principle, he does not rule out an agreement with Iran," Putin said.

Iran complies with all of its international obligations and does nothing punishable, he said. 

"We supported everything the international community had worked out to persuade the Iranian partners to conclude the well-known agreements. To do them justice they agreed to make many compromises and today they stand by their obligations," Putin said.

He recalled his recent meeting with the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

"He told me once again that according to IAEA estimates Iran is in full compliance with its commitments. What should it be punished for then? I do not understand," Putin said.

Termination of the deal on Iran will do damage to the whole region and will create the same problem as we are having around North Korea, he said. 

"Will it be better for Israel if Iran withdraws from this deal, or if it will be compelled, pushed out of this deal? Then the nuclear activity of Iran will be generally unclear to anyone. We won’t know what will be going on there. What will be the emerging risks?" the president said.

He said problems around North Korea have not been solved as of yet. "And we want to have a second problem of this kind, or maybe a bigger one? I mean an explosive nature of the region we are talking about. Maybe, no," he said.

Iran nuclear deal

On May 8, US President Donald Trump announced Washington’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal as it, in his words, leaves Iran a possibility to create a nuclear bomb bypassing all the restrictions. He promised to reinstate the former anti-Iranian sanctions and impose tighter ones. He said another agreement with Iran should be signed.

Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Theresa May, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel issued a joint statement calling on all other parties to the JCPOA to stay committed to their liabilities under it.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reiterated his country’s commitment to the deal, saying Teheran will continue to implement its liabilities. He called on the European Union to guarantee observance of its interests to keep the deal in place.

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