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Moscow rules out any reconsideration of Iran nuclear deal at present

A Russian diplomat warns that any revisions to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran’s nuclear program, which Washington is pushing for, is out of the question now

MOSCOW, February 5. /TASS/. Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov warned that any revisions to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear program, commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, which Washington is pushing for, is out of the question now.

"There is no way of revising, improving, updating or otherwise rectifying the JCPOA in the current climate. Too many events, which have unfolded recently, have deepened distrust between Washington and Tehran. Certain steps are being taken, which not only placed doubts on the US commitment to the nuclear deal, but in fact intensify pressure on the Islamic Republic. Under such conditions, I personally can’t imagine any reset of negotiations [on the issue]," he said in an interview with Izvestia newspaper, published on Monday.

The diplomat described Washington’s ultimatums demanding further concessions from Iran as an "unacceptable method" which will yield no results.

The senior diplomat specifically pointed out a number of issues which Washington is actively pushing onto the international agenda but which are not related to the terms of the agreement.

"Iran is being accused of all sins and criticized for actions which, in our view, only constitute the country's efforts to defend its own interests. Instead of fostering a normal dialogue, the US resorts to blackmailing. No one makes any concessions with that sort of attitude towards these affairs," Ryabkov emphasized.

"So, I do not really see how the American side is going to move ahead on this issue. In any case, we have repeatedly stressed, and I do so once again, that we should not proceed with reconsidering the JCPOA, it is a direct path to undermining the agreement. We feel it is only more than obvious that the consequences of the deal’s possible termination, if it comes to it, would be extremely negative. Both in terms of sustainability of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and in terms of the perception of the US’ negotiation abilities in a number of capitals," the diplomat concluded.

The Iranian nuclear deal and Trump’s stance

In July 2015, Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, namely Russia, China, UK, France and the US, plus Germany reached an agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program. They adopted the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which stipulates lifting the sanctions, which the UN and EU had imposed on the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program in exchange for Iran’s commitment to limiting its nuclear activities and bringing it under international control. In January 2016, it was announced that the agreement came into force and Washington removed the restrictions.

On January 12, 2018, President Donald Trump said that the US would withdraw from the deal unless it was amended. The White House occupant pointed out that he again waived sanctions against Iran, which had been lifted as part of the international agreement, but it was done "only in order to secure our European allies' agreement to fix the terrible flaws of the Iran nuclear deal,".