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Iran in talks with Russia to establish mechanisms to cushion US sanctions - Zarif

Iranian Foreign Minister added that negotiations on monetary treaties include also Turkey, China, the Republic of Azerbaijan, India and some other countries

MOSCOW, June 23. /TASS/. /TASS/. Iran is in talks with a number of countries, including Russia, to develop financial mechanisms to cushion the effect of the US’ anti-Iranian sanctions, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Sunday.

"We have been holding negotiations on monetary treaties with Turkey, Russia, China, the Republic of Azerbaijan, India and some other countries, and we have already signed agreements with some, and are about to reach more agreements with some others," Fars news agency quoted him as saying.

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said on Saturday diplomatic isolation and the anti-Iranian campaign would only grow tougher to compel the Iranian authorities to begin talks on their nuclear program. US President Donald Trump warned earlier that sanctions against Iran would be toughened already on Monday, June 24.

Situation around JCPOA

The JCPOA, also known as the Iran nuclear deal, was signed between Iran and six international mediators (the United Kingdom, Germany, China, Russia, the United States, and France) in July 2015. Under the deal, Iran undertook to curb its nuclear activities and place them under total control of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in exchange of abandonment of the sanctions imposed previously by the United Nations Security Council, the European Union and the United States over its nuclear program.

On May 8, 2018, the United States unilaterally withdrew from the deal and imposed economic sanctions seeking to stop Iranian oil exports.

On May 8, 2019, or exactly a year after the United States’ withdrawal, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani declared he was suspending some of Iran’s obligations under the JCPOA. In part, he said that Tehran would resume uranium enrichment and terminate the conversion of the heavy water reactor at Arak, if the signatories to the deal fail to comply with the conditions of the agreement, including those concerning banking and oil trade, within a 60-day deadline.

In late 2018, Teheran was disconnected from the international payment system SWIFT, which told adversely on Iranian businesses’ relations with foreign partners. In January 2019, the United Kingdom, Germany and France (the European Union signatories to the nuclear deal) launched a special purpose vehicle (SPV) dubbed the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) in order to facilitate legal trade with Iran bypassing the US sanctions. But the mechanism has been failing to be launched until today.

Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran, said in an interview with TASS earlier in June that in the current environment Teheran was in talks with Moscow and Beijing on increasing the volume of mutual transactions.