Russian deputy foreign minister slams US sanctions against Iran as illegal

TASS – Washington’s unilateral sanctions slapped on Iran and other countries are illegal and are de facto a tool of diktat, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters during his working visit to Israel on Thursday.

“A decision by the [US] administration to continue ‘the policy of maximum pressure’ against Iran certainly implies neither the weakening of sanctions nor any alternatives to what we see after the US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” the senior diplomat said.

“We are deeply convinced that any unilateral sanctions as a foreign policy tool are illegal and they are in violation of international law norms, serving as a tool of imposing will, de facto diktat and other manifestations of hegemonic policy, and this refers to Iran and other world regions,” Ryabkov noted.

The high-ranking diplomat pointed out that although the Americans realized that these sanctions have not yielded any result of late, they still stick to this policy, which is doomed to failure and is unlikely to make US foreign policy successful.

The future of the Iranian nuclear deal was called in question after the United States’ unilateral pullout from the JCPOA on May 8, 2018 and Washington’s introduction of oil export sanctions against Tehran. Iran argues that all other participants, the Europeans in the first place, ignore some of their own commitments in the economic sphere, thus making the deal in its current shape senseless.

In May 2019, Iran declared the first phase of suspending some of its commitments (60-day suspension of enriched uranium sales). In July, Tehran proceeded with the second phase of the suspension (by declaring uranium enrichment to above 3.67%) and promised to reduce its commitments further on each 60 days unless the other signatories restore compliance with the concluded agreements.

In September, Iran announced the third step on scaling back its commitments under the nuclear deal, waiving restrictions on nuclear research. On November 6, Iran started injecting gas into the centrifuges at the Fordow nuclear facility, which basically signals the beginning of the fourth stage of Tehran’s reduction of its nuclear deal commitments.