Russia rejects any prospect for changes, additions to Iran nuclear deal

Press TV- Russia says it sees no room for amendments or additions to the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six world countries as a deadline looms for the US to announce whether or not it will keep its side of the bargain.

Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, voiced concerns on Thursday over the remarks recently made by the US and French presidents, Donald Trump and Emanuel Macron respectively, on the Iran deal.

“We are seriously concerned by all of this – I am referring to comments made by the presidents of the United States and France about the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iran nuclear program. Russia has repeatedly said that there is no possibility for some kind of revote for this document, changing or enlarging it,” she said.

Macron paid a visit to Washington this week amid European efforts to dissuade Trump from killing the accord reached in 2015 between Tehran and the P5+1 group of countries, including the US, France, Britain, Russia and China plus Germany.

The US president has called the JCPOA the “worst deal ever” and threatened to pull Washington out of the accord, which has the firm support of the entire global community.

The accord lifted Iran’s nuclear-related sanctions in exchange for Tehran limiting certain aspects of its nuclear program.

In January, Trump ramped up pressure on the European parties to the deal to fix what he claimed to be the “flaws” in the accord by May 12 or he would no more extend the sanctions relief for Iran; a US obligation under the JCPOA.

Despite the European Union’s repeated calls for the preservation of the Iran deal as it is, Macron hinted during a joint presser with Trump on Tuesday that there might be room for “a new deal” alongside the existing one, which would address Iran’s missile defense program and regional role.

Those comments drew criticism from the EU, prompting the bloc’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, to reaffirm once again that the existing deal was working and thus should be saved.

The German Foreign Ministry was quick to back Mogherini, affirming that the Iran nuclear deal was Berlin’s top priority. “The nuclear agreement was negotiated with seven countries and the EU, and can’t be renegotiated,” it said.

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson also expressed hope that the accord could be saved.

Furthermore, Russian officials lined up to defend the deal, with the Kremlin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, saying there was no alternative to the JCPOA, which has been endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

Macron later tried to sound more in tune with the EU in an address to US Congress on Wednesday, appealing to the country’s leaders to preserve the Iran deal and remain part of the global community.

The French leader, however, said later in the day that Trump would most likely pull the US out of the nuclear accord, disappointing many in the EU who had pinned hope on him to stop the US from killing the deal.

Russia, Iran, Turkey foreign ministers to meet on JCPOA

Elsewhere in her remarks, Zakharova announced an unscheduled meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia, Iran and Turkey in Moscow on April 28, saying the three states – which are cooperating in a peace process on Syria – will exchange views on “including the worsening situation around the implementation of the JCPOA,” among other issues.

Iran has repeatedly made it clear that the nuclear accord is not up for renegotiation, warning that Tehran would also withdraw from the accord if Washington does so.

Tehran says it has several options ready at hand for responding to a possible US withdrawal, among them the resumption of those nuclear activities it halted under the deal even at a “much greater speed,” according to Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.