The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman says new US demands from Iran are totally unacceptable, vowing that Moscow will continue to work towards maintaining the Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“We are concerned about the fact that the anti-Iranian campaign is on the rise in Washington. It seems that the United States has made a final decision to use the tactics of ultimatums and threats in respect to Iran. It contradicts the spirit of the JCPOA and does not fall within the normal inter-state relations,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a briefing on Wednesday.
“Not only did the US administration withdraw from the agreement in violation of international norms, it is putting forward demands that are a priori unacceptable for Tehran,” she added.
In his first major foreign policy address since moving to the State Department from the CIA, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington would increase the financial pressure on Iran by imposing the “strongest sanctions in history” on the Islamic Republic if Tehran refused to change the course of its foreign and domestic policy.
Pompeo also outlined 12 US tough demands for Iran, including halting its uranium enrichment and closing its heavy water reactor, for any “new deal” with Tehran.
The remarks came weeks after US President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the JCPOA signed between Iran and major powers.
Trump announced on May 8 that Washington was walking away from the nuclear agreement, which was reached between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — the US, Britain, France, Russia and China — plus Germany – in 2015.
He also said he would reinstate US nuclear sanctions on Iran and impose “the highest level” of economic bans on the Islamic Republic.
The Russian spokesperson said that while the US pulled out of the JCPOA, “other participants in the deal are determined to maintain the agreement, adding, “We will continue working to that end. The important thing is that Tehran also abides by its obligations, as confirmed by the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency).”
Zakharova said the fate of the Iran deal would be decoded at a new meeting of the Joint Commission monitoring the implementation of the agreement in Vienna on May 25, which will not include the US for the first time.
The Russian official also once again expressed Moscow’s opposition to unilateral sanctions.
“We have never supported the policy of unilateral sanctions and will never do that as we believe them to be illegal. We are determined to advance our comprehensive cooperation with Iran,” Zakharova concluded.
In the wake of Washington’s exit from the deal, European parties to the nuclear pact are working to find a way to keep it in effect.
Iran has said it would remain in the JCPOA for now, pending negotiations with the other signatories in the coming weeks before making a final decision on its future role in the agreement.