Iran reaffirms commitment to nuclear deal, parties agree to act without US – Lavrov

Iran reaffirms commitment to nuclear deal, parties agree to act without US – Lavrov
Three European parties to the Iranian nuclear deal, as well as Russia and China, have agreed to create a special mechanism to maintain trade with Iran independently from Washington, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

We have agreed … that the experts of the Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) would consider ways that would allow [us] to stick to our commitments taken under the [agreement] independently from the US,” Lavrov told journalists following a ministerial meeting of the parties to the Iran deal. He added that the commission needs to develop ways keep commercial and economic ties between Iran and other parties to the agreement, which “would not depend on the US whims.”

All parties to the deal condemned Washington’s decision to unilaterally withdraw from the JPCOA by calling it an “illegitimate practice, which should not be taken for granted.

“Everyone agreed that it was a grave violation of the deal’s terms,” Lavrov said, adding that this US move was apparently “provoked by nothing other than a desire to once again politicize the situation around Iran.”

The Islamic Republic also reaffirmed its commitment to the deal and vowed to continue to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Russian minister said. Even though Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that the US actions “de-facto disrupted the agreement,” thus giving Iran a right to withdraw from it as well, the Islamic Republic would not exercise this right, according to Lavrov.

The US unilaterally withdrew from the Iranian nuclear deal in May. It has been putting pressure on its allies ever since, seeking in particular to make them reduce oil imports from Iran. European countries, as well as Russia and China, all condemned Washington’s move. They have reiterated their commitment to the nuclear deal on numerous occasions, and vowed to prevent the accord from crumbling.

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