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Russia ready for dialogue over future of Iran deal after 2025, says senior diplomat

France had notified Moscow of its plans to work on a new agreement that would complement the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action

MOSCOW, May 8. /TASS/. Russia is prepared for dialogue over the future of the Iranian nuclear deal after 2025, Tehran’s missile program and regional problems, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told the RBC in an interview.

He said France had notified Moscow of its plans to work on a new agreement that would complement the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

"If the French president’s logic is to be followed, the JCPOA should stay in force, but negotiations are necessary over the future of this plan after 2025, the missile program and Iran’s regional policies," Ryabkov said. "All this is negotiable. This is evidence that France is determined to preserve the JCPOA."

"However, the authors of these ideas and proposals should suggest concrete solutions and formats for such a dialogue," Ryabkov said. "We have not received anything of the kind so far."

Asked about Israel’s tough stance on the Iranian nuclear deal, Ryabkov said Russia and Israel were engaged in professional and comprehensive discourse on the subject.

"The deal would have been acceptable for Israel, had Iran agreed to the toughest conditions without any reservations," he said. "In classical diplomacy it is the equal share of partakers’ disagreement and discontent that determines the seriousness of agreements and their viability."

In July 2015, Iran, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (Russia, Britain, China, the United States and France) and Germany achieved an agreement on settling Tehran’s nuclear problem. Their Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action envisages the lifting of US and EU sanctions imposed on Iran over its nuclear program. In January 2016, it was announced that the deal had begun to be implemented and Washington lifted its restrictions.

US President Donald Trump has repeatedly branded the deal with Iran as bad. He argued that it did not eliminate the possibility that Iran might acquire nuclear capability, but simply delayed it. On January 12, Trump said the United States would quit the accord unless it was complemented with amendments agreed on with the European countries. At the end of April, a US administration spokesman said that the United States, and also France, Germany and Britain had achieved progress at negotiations on amendments to the agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, but a final solution has not been specified yet. Trump is expected to declare his decision regarding the JCPOA on May 8.