0106 GMT May 06, 2021
Saeed Khatibzadeh told reporters on Thursday that Lavrov’s visit is scheduled to take place on April 13 at the official invitation of Zarif, within the framework of the “political consultations between Iranian and Russian foreign ministers”, Press TV reported.
“Consultations on various aspects of bilateral relations, regional issues — especially the latest developments in the Caucasus, Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan, as well as Iran-Russia cooperation in major regional and international organizations” are on Lavrov’s agenda during his upcoming visit to Tehran, Khatibzadeh said.
The Iranian spokesman noted that Lavrov will also discuss with concerned Iranian officials other important matters, including the landmark nuclear deal clinched by Iran and six world powers in 2015, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and ways of counteracting US unilateralism and illegal sanctions.
Lavrov’s visit comes after Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement in late January that Moscow is ready to further cement its “beneficial” cooperation with Tehran.
“The gradual development of mutually beneficial cooperation as well as further consolidation of significant potentials of Russia and Iran will not only have a positive impact on both countries’ conditions, but will also improve the situation in the South Caucasus and the Middle East while ensuring peace and stability in those regions," added the Russian Ministry’s statement.
It emphasized that Russia is resolute to expand beneficial relations with Iran and will continue bilateral cooperation in favor of regional stability and international security, expressing hope that positive trends would be bolstered in Tehran-Moscow ties in all fields.
‘Full restoration’ stressed
Speaking at the Middle East Conference of the Valdai Discussion Club in Moscow on Wednesday, Lavrov said Moscow is in favor of restoring the JCPOA in its initial form that was endorsed by a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution.
He called for the JCPOA’s “full restoration”, stressing that the deal should be restored in its initial form as it was approved by the UN.
"We have proposed an informal roadmap, envisioning simultaneous gradual return by Iran and the United States to implementation of their obligations. French colleagues help us formulate the steps, especially the first step, which should launch the process of JCPOA full restoration," Lavrov said.
The remarks came in the wake of a report by American news website Politico, which claimed the US is to end the deadlock over the nuclear deal with a new proposal.
The proposal would ask Iran to halt some of its nuclear activities, such as work on advanced centrifuges and the enrichment of uranium to 20 percent purity, in exchange for some relief from US economic sanctions, said one person familiar with the situation, who stressed that the details are still being worked out.
In response to the report, the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic to the UN reiterated that no proposal is needed for the US to rejoin the JCPOA.
“It only requires a political decision by the US to fully and immediately implement all of its obligations under the accord and abide by UNSCR 2231”, which endorsed the deal, the mission said in a tweet.
Iranian officials have also rejected any renegotiation of the JCPOA or inclusion of other issues other than the nuclear program of the country in it, saying the agreement is a done deal.
Although the administration of US President Joe Biden has expressed a willingness to return Washington to the JCPOA, it has not yet taken any palpable measure since taking office on January 20 toward reviving the agreement.
The US was the only party that left the deal and threatened other countries with sanctions should they keep trade with Iran.
The US failure to remove its sanctions and abide by its obligations under the JCPOA, coupled with the Europeans’ failure to keep up their end of the bargain, prompted Iran to take a series of countermeasures in suspending some of its commitments.
However, Tehran has said that it will suspend its remedial measures taken under Article 36 of the JCPOA only if the US removes its bans in a manner that it could be verified by Iran.
Russia and China, the two non-European parties to the JCPOA, have on numerous occasions criticized the US pullout from the landmark deal.