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Moscow hopes Macron’s proposal on Iran nuclear deal helps preserve it - diplomat

According to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, the Iran nuclear deal should be preserved for the sake of the whole world

MOSCOW, November 9. /TASS/. Russia hopes that the proposal put forward by French President Emmanuel Macron to save the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JPOA, known as the Iran nuclear deal) will help preserve the agreement, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said at the Moscow Nonproliferation Conference on Saturday.

"We firmly support the efforts aimed at de-escalation around Iran and at the resumption of JCPOA implementation in accordance with initially agreed timeframe. We hope that French President Emmanuel Macron’s well-known initiative will help preserve the JCPOA," he said.

According to Ryabkov, the Iran nuclear deal should be preserved for the sake of the whole world.

"Neither Iran, nor the United States, nor Europe, nor the rest of the world will benefit from the collapse of comprehensive agreements. A surge of tensions fraught with escalating into open confrontation will have serious repercussions across the world, will affect the economy and will hit the markets of raw materials and finance," the diplomat stressed.

"We would like to hope that Washington will realize that," he added.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (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.

Iran pledged not to enrich uranium above the level of 3.67% for 15 years and maintain enriched uranium stockpiles at the level not exceeding 300 kg, as well as not to build new heavy-water reactors, not to accumulate heavy water and not to develop nuclear explosive devices.

The future of the Iranian nuclear deal was called in question after the United States’ unilateral pullout on May 8, 2018 and Washington’s unilateral oil export sanctions against Tehran. Iran argues that all other participants, Europeans in the first place, ignore some of their own obligations in the economic sphere, thus making the deal in its current shape senseless.

In May 2019, Iran declared the first phase of suspending some of its commitments (60-day suspension of enriched uranium sales). In July, Tehran proceeded with the second phase of the suspension (by declaring uranium enrichment to above 3.67%) and promised to reduce its commitments further on each 60 days unless the other signatories restore compliance with the concluded agreements.

On September 6, Iran said it was proceeding to the third stage of reduction of its nuclear deal commitments and dropped restrictions of research activities.

On November 5, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said that Tehran would begin yet another phase to reduce its nuclear program commitments as of November 6 by launching centrifuges in Fordow.