End ‘meaningless’ pressure policy so Iran deal can function normally: Russia to US

Russia has called on the United States to abandon its “meaningless” campaign of so-called maximum pressure against Iran in order for the 2015 nuclear deal to get back on track.

“The US is sending signals of readiness for dialogue to restore the JCPOA. It is welcomed,” Russia’s Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov said in a Russian-language tweet on Monday, using an acronym for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the official name of the nuclear accord.

“It’s time to put an end to the meaningless policy of maximum pressure on Iran and ensure the normal functioning of the nuclear deal, the most important component of the nuclear non-proliferation regime,” he added.

Ulyanov’s comments came days after the US mission to Vienna-based international organizations said in a tweet that Washington, “is ready to reengage in meaningful diplomacy to achieve a mutual return to compliance with” the Iran deal “in close coordination with our allies and partners.”

Former president Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from the JCPOA in May 2018, and unleashed the “maximum pressure” campaign with the goal of forcing Iran to negotiate “a better agreement.”

That policy failed to yield result as the Islamic Republic refused to bow down to the US pressure and threats and responded to its campaign with “maximum resistance.”

Trump’s successor, Joe Biden, has expressed a willingness to bring the US back to the nuclear accord. However, his administration is demanding that Iran walk back all its remedial steps which it has taken in response to the US violations and the Europeans’ failure to meet their end of the bargain.

Iran insists the United States has to lift its sanctions before Tehran considers a reversal.

The Islamic Republic says there is no need for negotiations on Washington’s return, and that America only needs to remove the sanctions for gaining the right to rejoin the JCPOA.

In another development on Monday, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) told its member states that Iran has started enriching uranium with a third set of advanced IR-2m centrifuges at Natanz nuclear facility.