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15 Mar, 2022 14:27

Moscow reveals whether US sanctions would harm Iran deal

Russian Foreign Minister says he’s received guarantees that Ukraine sanctions won’t impact agreement with Tehran
Moscow reveals whether US sanctions would harm Iran deal

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday that Moscow has received written assurances from the US that Ukraine-related sanctions won’t hinder its ability to trade with Iran under the terms of a new nuclear agreement. “We received written guarantees. They are included in the text of the agreement itself on the resumption of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the Iranian nuclear program,” Lavrov told reporters in Moscow.

The ‘Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action’, or JCPOA, is the official title of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Signed by Iran and the US, UK, Russia, France, Germany, China and the EU the deal promised Iran sanctions relief in exchange for a halt to its nuclear program. Former US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the deal in 2018, claiming that Iran was breaching its obligations, and negotiators have been meeting in Vienna, Austria and attempting to hammer out a new deal for nearly a year now.

An unnamed US official told the Wall Street Journal on Sunday that the US was not prepared to ease any Ukraine-related sanctions to save the deal, and would be open to negotiating a “replica of the JCPOA” without Russian involvement if Moscow insisted on exemptions being made. 

Commenting on the reports, Lavrov suggested that Washington itself is still not ready to support the deal, and pointed out that, according to his Iranian counterpart, the problem with the agreement is in the US’ “exorbitant demands.” 

Appearing beside Lavrov on Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said that there is no link between the conflict in Ukraine and the talks in Vienna.

The Iranians have repeatedly insisted that Russia remain a part of any deal. 

The Vienna negotiations have been paused since last week, but an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Monday that they should resume shortly, when they will enter their “final, crucial steps.” Lavrov told reporters on Tuesday that he believes these talks are on the home stretch, and called on the US to “return to the legal framework of this nuclear deal” and lift “the illegal sanctions the US has imposed to hurt not only Iran and its people, but a number of other countries.”