US’ approaches to Iran undermine nuclear non-proliferation regime — Lavrov

TASS – The United States’ actions in respect of Iran and its nuclear program undermine the non-proliferation regime and aggravate the situation in the region, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.

“These are destructive actions not only in terms of the concrete situation around the Iranian nuclear program but also for the nuclear non-proliferation regime and for the situation in the region in general, because, regrettably, our American colleagues tend to look at practically each and every aspect of the situation in the Middle East and North Africa through the anti-Iranian prism and seem to be deliberately seeking to find as many reasons as possible to back their ungrounded allegations that Iran is a main source of evil in that region and that all the problems are stemming from Iran only,” he said at a news conference at the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

The Russian minister stressed that the problems stemming from the breakdown of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear program should be addressed regardless of the current General Assembly session. They began much earlier, 18 months ago when the United States unilaterally withdrew from this document that had been approved by the United Nations Security Council and had become part of international law. Moreover, it banned all the rest to implement it and threatened those committed to the plan with sanctions, Lavrov noted.

The JCPOA, also known as the Iran nuclear deal, was signed between Iran and six international mediators (the United Kingdom, Germany, China, Russia, the United States, and France) in July 2015. Under the deal, Iran undertook to curb its nuclear activities and place them under total control of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in exchange of abandonment of the sanctions imposed previously by the United Nations Security Council, the European Union and the United States over its nuclear program.

Iran pledged not to enrich uranium above the level of 3.67% for 15 years and maintain enriched uranium stockpiles at the level not exceeding 300 kg, as well as not to build new heavy-water reactors, not to accumulate heavy water and not to develop nuclear explosive devices.

The situation around the deal exacerbated after Washington unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA on May 8, 2018 and slapped US economic sanctions on Iran’s oil exports.