US not after talks, seeking to impose demands on Iran: Russian Envoy

Tasnim – Russian Ambassador to Iran Levan Jagarian slammed the US government for the policy of imposing its demands on other countries with the threat of sanctions, saying Washington is not pursuing genuine talks with Tehran.

In an interview with Tasnim on the fifth anniversary of achievement of the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, the Russian ambassador said the US is not after negotiations with Iran, but wants to impose its own conditions.

“They (Americans) only pursue their own agenda. They don’t even want to hold talks and only say ‘either accept our conditions or face sanctions.’ Unfortunately, they do not understand any other word,” Jagarian added.

He also said that the US’ stance on the JCPOA is not going to change, no matter which candidate will win the upcoming US presidential election. “I’m not quite optimistic about whoever there is (at the White House).”

The ambassador also voiced Russia’s opposition to the US bid to extend a UN arms embargo on Iran which is going to expire in October, adding, “We will definitely oppose it, and the US has no right to comment about this subject.”

The Russian envoy further criticized the European parties’ inaction on the US breach of the nuclear deal and their mere expression of regret. “We have told the Europeans that ‘you only express regret.’ Expression of regret alone is not enough.”

Jagarian further said Russia and Iran have gotten used to the US sanctions, saying, “We have expressed readiness to deepen economic cooperation with Iran.”

The ambassador also said the value of Russian exports to Iran during the first five months of 2020 stood at around $700 million, showing a 30 percent rise compared to the corresponding period last year.

Voicing Russia’s readiness to take part in the INSTEX –the financial mechanism that the three European parties to the JCPOA have devised to maintain trade with Iran-, Jagarian said Moscow will find ways to continue cooperation with Tehran, with or without INSTEX.

The ambassador called for efforts to remove the obstacles in the way of banking cooperation between Russia and Iran, adding, “The banking problems still exist. The both countries are hit by sanctions, but we must find a solution to settle the artificial problems created by a third country. After all, we are in the same front with you.”

In a telephone conversation in April, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin discussed ways to maintain and expand trade ties amid the outbreak of the coronavirus and promote mutual cooperation in the fight against the disease.