Russia warns against US withdrawal from Iran nuclear deal

Sputnik News– The US withdrawal from last year’s agreement with Iran to prevent the country from developing nuclear weapons will prompt more instability in the region and globally, a senior Russian Foreign Ministry diplomat told Sputnik.

A possible US withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal will make the situation in the Middle East worse, a senior Russian diplomat told Sputnik, adding that Moscow does not understand the reasoning behind Washington’s desire to exit the accord.

“I cannot say that Russia should condemn somebody or something here. We want our interests to be taken into account and therefore we respect the interests of other states. Another thing is that we do not understand why the United States is interested in a withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal,” the Director of the North America Department at the Russian Foreign Ministry Georgiy Borisenko said.

According to Borisenko, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), reached in 2015 by Tehran and international mediators to ensure the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program, reflected “the common understanding of how this situation could be settled.”

“No optimal alternatives [to JCPOA] have been presented so far… Will anyone benefit from Iran having a nuclear program which is not only peaceful in nature?… It will lead to the further deterioration of the situation in the Middle East and affect global stability,” Borisenko added.

On October 5, the Washington Post reported that US President Donald Trump intended to “decertify” the nuclear deal with Iran. According to the newspaper, Trump is expected to deliver a speech on Thursday, when he will open the door to modifying the agreement as part of a tougher approach toward Iran. Under the terms of the current nuclear agreement, Trump has until October 15 to certify Iran’s compliance.

The JCPOA is an international agreement providing for the gradual lifting of economic and diplomatic sanctions that have been imposed on Iran in exchange for Tehran’s promise that its nuclear program wouldn’t be used to produce weapons. The agreement was concluded between Iran and the P5+1 countries (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, United States plus Germany) in 2015 and came into force in January 2016.