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Russia urges EU to defy US pressure & maintain ties with Tehran, vows to continue joint projects

Russia urges EU to defy US pressure & maintain ties with Tehran, vows to continue joint projects
Moscow will see through joint projects with Tehran despite mounting pressure from Washington, the Russian Foreign Ministry has said, urging European countries to maintain ties with Iran and abide by the nuclear deal.

The recent decision of Tehran to suspend some of its obligations under the landmark agreement – officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – is “understandable,” given the US’ hostile actions against the country, the ministry said in a statement on Thursday. The move is perfectly legal, as the agreement allows the country walk away from some of its obligations if other signees do not stick to the deal.

At the same time Moscow, warned Tehran against making further steps towards scrapping the deal altogether, while urging “other participating countries” – basically, European ones – to fulfill their obligations.

Russia urges EU to defy US pressure & maintain ties with Tehran, vows to continue joint projects

On Wednesday, Iran reduced its obligations under the deal and vowed to take further steps on uranium enrichment in 60 days if the EU does not act to help its banking and oil sectors. The European Union, however, has already branded Tehran's move as an “ultimatum” and promised to “assess Iran's compliance” with the deal.

Russia itself is looking forward to continuing works on joint projects with Iran, including in the nuclear energy sphere, the ministry said. The projects include the ongoing construction of the nuclear power plant in Bushehr, as well as refurbishment of the Fordow uranium enrichment plant.

Moscow condemned the new batch of US sanctions against Iran, that targeted its metallurgy sector, urging “other countries” to maintain economic ties and trade with Tehran despite the pressure.

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A similar statement was issued by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who called upon the EU to uphold its obligations instead of just pressing the country into compliance with the agreement.

“Instead of demanding that Iran unilaterally abide by a multilateral accord, the EU should uphold obligations – including normalization of economic ties,” Iran's top diplomat tweeted.

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