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Russia, Iran discuss steps to keep nuclear deal in place

Moscow and Tehran vow to continue coordinating their efforts to protect trade and economic cooperation from Washington’s sanctions

MOSCOW, June 22. /TASS/. Cooperation between Russia and Iran in the interests of keeping the Iran nuclear deal in place was in focus of a meeting between Russian and Iranian Deputy Foreign Ministers, Sergei Ryabkov and Abbas Araghchi, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

"The focus was made on cooperation between Russia and Iran in the interests of keeping in place the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear program," the ministry said.

According to the ministry, Moscow and Tehran will continue to coordinate their efforts to protect their trade and economic cooperation from Washington’s sanctions. "It was agreed to continue close coordination on this matter to ensure protection of bilateral trade-and-economic cooperation from the United States’ illegal extra-territorial unilateral sanctions," the ministry stressed.

Apart from that, the sides discussed a number of other "matters of mutual interest," it added.

Earlier, Tasnim said, citing Araghchi, that Iran may withdraw from the JCPOA within weeks. Prospects for Tehran’s talks with the European partners are vague and may fail to result in a common solution to keep the Iran nuclear deal in place, Araghchi was quoted as saying. However he expressed the hope Europe would be able to meet Iran halfway.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known as the deal on Iran’s nuclear program, was signed between Iran and six international mediators (the United Kingdom, Germany, China, Russia, the United States, and France) on July 14, 2015. On January 16, 2016, the parties to the deal announced beginning of its implementation. Under the deal, Iran undertakes 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.

On May 8, US President Donald Trump announced Washington’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal as it, in his words, leaves Iran a possibility to create a nuclear bomb bypassing all the restrictions. He promised to reinstate the former anti-Iranian sanctions and impose tighter ones. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reiterated his country’s commitment to the deal, saying Teheran will continue to implement its liabilities. He called on the European Union to guarantee observance of its interests to keep the deal in place.