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Russia calls for perservering Iran nuclear deal — senior diplomat

Russia needs to sort out mixed messages from the US and EU on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran’s nuclear program, a diplomat said

MOSCOW, April 25. /TASS/. Russia calls on all countries to do their utmost in order to preserve and implement the Iran nuclear deal, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told TASS on Wednesday.

Commenting on French President Emmanuel Macron’s words after his talks with US President Donald Trump, Ryabkov said, "We believe it as an irrevocable condition that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) should be strengthened, preserved and that its functioning in its current form should be ensured in the future."

"Currently, it is crucial for all those who understand the JPCOA’s worthiness and significance to deal with what the situation dictates, that is to exert any effort for the agreement to be preserved and successfully and sustainably implemented in the future," he said.

Russia needs to sort out mixed statements on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action for Iran’s nuclear program made by the US and European countries, he added.

"They were indeed assumptions, so we need to sort out what actually happened at the two leaders’ meeting in Washington," the senior Russian diplomat noted. "We have heard mixed messages, which do nothing to clarify our counterparts’ intentions in this regard," he added.

Attempts to undermine the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action mean the return of abnormality to the situation around Iran’s nuclear program, he said. 

Ryabkov stressed that the JCPOA is "a tool for returning the whole situation around Iran’s nuclear program to political normalcy." "Now, attempts to undermine the JCPOA mean the return to abnormality. We are very much concerned about that," the senior diplomat said.

Ryabkov noted that it is necessary to sort out mixed statements made in Washington during a meeting between the two leaders. "We note certain mixed messages in the content of these signals, which adds no clarity to our colleagues’ intentions in this matter," he noted.

"Of course, as we have noted more than once, we do not feel we are bound in any way by the agreements that have been reached or can be reached by the European trio and the US," he said. "I would refrain here from talking about the European Union’s common stance. The issue at hand is contacts between Washington and three European capitals - London, Paris and Berlin."

 No one paid money to Iran under the nuclear deal, only its previously frozen assets were returned, he said. "Russia does not agree with the statement that money was paid to Iran under the deal," he said. "The document concerns the return of assets on which the United States illegally imposed a freeze," he pointed out.

On April 24, US President Donald Trump once again criticized the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) for Iran’s nuclear program. "The Iran deal is a terrible deal. We paid $150 billion. We gave $1.8 billion in cash. That's actual cash, barrels of cash. It's insane. It's ridiculous. It should have never been made," he said.

Iran nuclear deal issue

In 2015, Iran and six major powers (five member states of the United Nations Security Council - Russia, the United States, France, the United Kingdom and China - and Germany) agreed on the final Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) for the Iranian nuclear program, which particularly stipulates the removal of sanctions imposed on Tehran over its nuclear program.

Trump has many times criticized the deal accusing Iran of violating it. He particularly said that it was "one of the most incompetently drawn deals" that he had ever seen.

On January 12, Trump stated that the United States may withdraw from the deal unless it was amended. In late April, a US administration official said that Washington, Paris, Berlin and London had achieved progress in talks on amending the deal but no final decision had been taken.