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Russia calls on Iran to avoid escalation in tensions over nuke deal

Envoy Mikhail Ulyanov said that corresponding instructions could be given to experts in various fields, who could gather in the near future and define the relevant measures

VIENNA, June 26. /TASS/. Moscow is urging Iran to avoid tensions around the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear program, such actions are unlikely to lead to anything good, Russian Permanent Representative to International Organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov said in an interview with TASS.

"We are understanding about the statement Iran made on May 8 this year, although there’s no enthusiasm in Moscow," he said. "We are calling on Iran to avoid the path of escalation because it is unlikely to lead to anything good."

"The most optimal variant in this situation, after the Americans tried to introduce a complete oil embargo and Tehran reacted to it in the well-known way, is for the members of the Joint Commission to convene and think what can be done," Ulyanov continued. "To think not in general [terms] what happened last year, but rather to think as substantively as possible and devise a sort of a roadmap for the coming months to improve the situation. To think what can be done to offset the harmful US policy."

Moreover, the diplomat said that corresponding instructions could be given to experts in various fields, who could gather in the near future and define the measures relating to financing, transport, insurance and oil procurement.

The envoy noted that the destructive US actions aimed at Iran, "unfortunately, turned out to be rather effective." "By the means of blackmailing and intimidation, Washington is chasing large foreign companies, and not large alone, away from the Iranian market," he pointed out.

Offsetting losses

Tehran wants to achieve offset of losses from the parties to the deal and balanced fulfillment of the obligations relating to the economic incentive, the Russian diplomat clarified, commenting on the positions of the parties to the nuclear deal ahead of a session of the Joint Commission in Vienna scheduled for June 28.

"Otherwise, proceeding from articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA, the Iranians could start acting in accordance with the concept Europeans branded "less for less"," he said. "This two articles state that if a party is not substantively honoring their obligations, Iran has a right to cease implementation of the JCPOA fully or partially."

"The deal, indeed, contains such an idea. The Iranians believe that they are eligible to use that, while Europeans see it as a red line," the diplomat underlined. "They are expecting Iran to continue fulfilling its nuclear obligations fully and independently of what is happening in other spheres."

Nuclear deal situation

On May 8, 2018, US President Donald Trump announced Washington’s withdrawal from the JCPOA, the deal that was inked back in 2015 and restricted Tehran’s nuclear developments in exchange for lifting the UN Security Council sanctions and the unilateral restrictive measures imposed by the US and the EU. On May 8, 2019, President of Iran Hassan Rouhani said that Tehran was suspending the fulfilment of its part of the nuclear deal obligations and gives other parties to the JCPOA two months to revert to it. According to the Iranian side, the parties to the deal, particularly the Europeans, are not fully honoring their obligations in the economic side of the deal, therefore, the JCPOA in its current form is meaningless.