Russian foreign ministry calls for joint efforts to keep Fordow and Arak project in place

TASS – Russia’s delegation to the Vienna meeting on the Iranian nuclear deal stressed the necessity of consolidated efforts to keep in place the Fordow and Arak projects, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

“The Russian side stressed the acute necessity to consolidate efforts of the remaining participants in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to maintain the viability of comprehensive agreements on the Iranian nuclear program and create a protected environment for the implementation of such major elements of the Plan of Action as reconfiguration of the facility at Fordow to produce stable isotopes and modernization of the reactor at Arak,” the ministry said.

The only obstacle on the path to redress the balance under the JCPOA is “the destructive anti-Iranian course of the United States, which has unilaterally refused to implement its part of the nuclear deal approved by United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 and is hampering others from implementing it,” the ministry noted.

A meeting of the Joint Commission of the JCPOA was held in Vienna on December 6. Russia was represented by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov.

Iran nuclear deal

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