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First step towards JCPOA restoration expected from US - Russian diplomat

According to Russian Permanent Representative to the Vienna-based international organizations Mikhail Ulyanov, a plan for the JCPOA’s restoration has already been elaborated

MOSCOW, July 11. /TASS/. The first step towards the restoration of the Iran nuclear deal should be made by the US side, Russian Permanent Representative to the Vienna-based international organizations Mikhail Ulyanov said on Sunday.

"I can lay out Russia’s point of view: naturally, the first step is to be made by the Americans because it was them who started the whole thing when they withdrew from the deal and nearly wrecked it threatening the entire world with their extra-territorial sanctions," he said in an interview with the Kommersant daily.

According to Ulyanov, a plan for the JCPOA’s restoration has already been elaborated. "We do have such a plan. It has not yet been agreed but its outlines are quite clear and everyone sees its conceptual frames. Everyone accepts them but details - who and what should do and when - are yet to be specified within these outlines," he noted.

He noted that the Americans have made certain concessions to Iran, which also upholds a pragmatic position. "The main thing that is clear is which steps are expected from whom - there is complete clarity about that. However, the sequence of steps is still a subject for discussion, although, I would like to repeat it once again, the outlines are already seen and no one has nay objections about them," he added.

The JCPOA Joint Commission has had several offline meetings in Vienna since April to discuss prospects for the United States’ possible return to the deal and steps needed to ensure full and efficient compliance with the deal’s terms by all its signatories. The commission members continue to discuss ways of restoring the nuclear deal at informal meetings in various formats, including at an expert level. JCPOA participants also hold separate consultations with the US delegation without Iran's participation. It was originally planned to finish consultations in late May and then - in early June.

The JCPOA, also known as the Iran nuclear deal, was signed between Iran, the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (Russia, the United Kingdom, China, the United States and France) and Germany in 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.

The future of the deal was called in question after the United States’ unilateral pullout in May, 2018 and Washington’s unilateral oil export sanctions against Teheran. Iran argued that all other participants, Europeans in the first place, were ignoring some of their own obligations in the economic sphere, thus making the deal in its current shape senseless. This said, it began to gradually scale down its commitments under the deal.