News ID: 320424
Published: 0315 GMT March 05, 2022

Russia seeks US guarantees over JCPOA implementation

Russia seeks US guarantees over JCPOA implementation

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday a deal is within reach over the revival of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal but Moscow demands “written guarantees” from Washington that its interests would be taken into account.

Lavrov said that the ongoing talks in Vienna have covered most issues and “from our point of view, if Iran agrees, this document can already be launched into the acceptance process”.

But he added that there are “problems that have appeared recently from the point of view of Russia’s interests”, due to concerns over the terms of the deal concerning Moscow’s involvement in the nuclear sector in Iran and arms sales to Tehran, AFP reported.

Lavrov cited the “avalanche of aggressive sanctions that the West has started spewing out, which hasn’t ended as far as I understand”, over the Ukraine conflict.

He said this meant Moscow had to ask the US for guarantees first, requiring a “clear answer” that the new sanctions will not affect its rights under a revived nuclear deal.

“We requested that our US colleagues… give us written guarantees at the minimum level of secretary of state that the current (sanctions) process launched by the US will not in any way harm our right to free, fully-fledged trade and economic and investment cooperation and military-technical cooperation with Iran,” Lavrov said at a news conference.

Lavrov said that under the deal, Russia and China would be allowed to help Iran develop its civilian nuclear programs in accordance with non-proliferation rules. Sanctions would not be able to affect those projects, Lavrov said.

“There are still several topics which our Iranian colleagues want more clarity on and we consider those are fair demands,” Lavrov said.


JCPOA revival ‘close’

Russia’s chief negotiator in the Vienna talks said on Friday that he thought a deal was possible in the middle of next week.

“As far as I know, the Iranians are not ready for direct talks (with the United States),” Mikhail Ulyanov told reporters, according to Reuters. “We will have a deal maybe in the middle of next week. We are talking about the last efforts before crossing the finish line.”

The chief British and French envoys also said on Friday negotiations were close to reaching an agreement, as they and their German colleague flew home to brief ministers.

“We are close. E3 negotiators leaving Vienna briefly to update Ministers on state of play. Ready to return soon,” Stephanie al-Qaq said on Twitter, referring to the chief British, French and German diplomats involved in the talks.

“Hoping to return quickly to reach a conclusion because we are very, very close to an agreement,” the French envoy, Philippe Errera, said on Twitter.

Negotiators have worked for 11 months to try to revive the 2015 deal almost four years after former US president Donald Trump reneged on the pact, reimposing and reinforcing sanctions on Iran.



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