Russian envoy urges Europe to back Iran nuclear deal loudly

IRNA – The European states as independent countries should explicitly confirm Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal in the face of US adverse policies, said the Russian ambassador to Tehran.

Russia and China’s opposition to the US President Donald Trump’s stance on the historic 2015 nuclear deal with Iran is ‘clear and obvious,’ Levan Dzhagaryan said in an exclusive interview with the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) which was published on Friday.

Dzhagaryan urged the European signatories to the deal to confirm Tehran’s compliance “loudly”.

Iran and the six major world powers—the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany—signed a historic nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), under which Iran accepted to curb its nuclear activities in return of sanctions removal.

Commenting on a possible scenario in which Trump administration does not certify Iran’s commitment to the deal and assign the decision to the Congress, the Russian envoy said that he did not know what documents there were on the alleged violations by Iran, ‘but, as far as I know, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has confirmed Iran’s compliance with the deal every three months since its implementation.’
The US President signed extension of the JCPOA for another 120 days on Thursday.

‘Unfortunately there is a strong anti-Iran sentiment in the Congress, and it is the case in the US presidential institutions and State Department as well,’ said the Russian ambassador.

‘In addition to the Agency [IAEA], we are also certifying Tehran’s commitment. We don’t see any pretext that US can use for accusing Iran of violating the JCPOA,’ he added.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has recently published its eighth report and the third since Trump has taken office in January 2017, confirming that Iran has remained committed to the deal.

However, Trump has vowed he would decertify Iran’s commitment and cancel the deal.

“Iran’s compliance is crystal clear and Russia and China would object such decision, Dzhagaryan said.

He also emphasized on the importance of the European countries’ stance, citing European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker who had said, after Trump took office in January, ‘We are not Americans’ vessels, we are independent countries’.

‘By saying so, they stressed action, instead of words,’ Dzhagaryan said.
He added, ‘As they are independent states, and the JCPOA is not a bilateral deal between Iran and the US, the European countries should also respect it independent from Washington’s stance’.

‘I would repeat once more, Russia and China’s stance is clear. Now the three European countries should also voice opposition to the negative stances by the US since they also have made efforts for reach the deal,’ the Russian diplomat reiterated.

‘After all, Germany, and especially France, have deep economic interests in Iran,’ Dzhagaryan said, referring to a big deal the French oil giant, Total, has recently signed in Tehran.

Iran’s National Oil Company (NIOC) on July 3 signed a multi-billion-dollar agreement with an international consortium, headed by Total, to develop the phase 11 of the South Pars gas field.

The 4.8 billion-dollar deal is the first major gas and oil agreement since anti-Iran sanction relief after the implementation of the historic nuclear agreement between Iran and world major powers (the permanent United Nations Security council members plus Germany) in 2015.

Speaking on Moscow-Tehran ties during the tenure of Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani new government, the Russian ambassador said that he is satisfied with the level of political relations between Iran and Russia.

He added that regular contacts between the Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Rouhani on different occasions, including on the sidelines of international meetings, and their visits to each other’s country, the telephone conversation of the high-ranking Iranian officials and their Russian counterparts about the implementation of bilateral contracts as well as enhancing cooperation in various spheres are all contributing to a great extent to the richness of political ties between Iran and Russia.

However, he also said that the bilateral economic implementation pace since the JCPOA is not as satisfactory as that of the political ties, expressing hope that the technical problems, including banking issues, would be resolved and the 14th Russia-Iran Commission will be held soon.

Translator: Mahdokht Pazoki
Editor: Fatemeh M. Safaei