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Russia, Iran foreign ministers to discuss nuclear deal, Syria, Caspian cooperation

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will hold talks talks with the Iranian counterpart on February 19

MOSCOW, February 19. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said he plans to discuss the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known as the Iran nuclear deal, as well as the situation in Syria at talks with the Iranian counterpart on Monday.

"Today’s meeting is a good chance to continue discussing issues on the regional agenda, including the situation with the implementation of the JCPOA, joint efforts towards the settlement of the Syrian conflict, and of course Caspian cooperation issues," the Russian diplomat told Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in the opening remarks at the talks.

"In the current situation which is rather tense, it is very important to maintain channels for broad communication, for presenting our points of view on complex processes that trigger concern and necessitate joint efforts for hammering out solutions," Lavrov stressed.

He also noted that a next session of the Russian-Iranian intergovernmental commission for trade and economic cooperation is due in Moscow shortly.

JCPOA issue

The JCPOA, signed in Vienna in the summer of 2015, involves Iran, and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council - Russia, the United States, China, the United Kingdom, France and Germany. It stipulates that Tehran should produce no weapons-grade plutonium and reduce its stockpiles of enriched uranium in return for the removal of international sanctions.

After Iran implemented its obligations, which was verified by IAEA inspections, then-US President Barack Obama lifted sanctions imposed on Tehran over its attempts to develop nuclear weapons. At the same time, other restrictions remained in place.

On October 13, 2017, incumbent US President Donald Trump announced a new strategy towards Iran, stipulating that Washington would seek to make changes in the JCPOA in order to curb Iran’s "destabilizing influence." Trump refused to certify the agreement on January 13.

The US president recently said that Washington would withdraw from the JCPOA unless "the deal’s disastrous flaws" were fixed. Trump noted that he was "waiving the application of certain nuclear sanctions, but only in order to secure our European allies’ agreement to fix the terrible flaws of the Iran nuclear deal.".