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  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks during his annual news conference, with Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova seen in the background, in Moscow, Russia January 15, 2018.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks during his annual news conference, with Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova seen in the background, in Moscow, Russia January 15, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 15 January 2018
Opinion

"We will not support what the United States is trying to do ... incorporating things that will be absolutely unacceptable for Iran," Lavrov says.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov echoed his European counterparts saying his government will not allow Trump to change the Iran nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, JCPOA.

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"We will not support what the United States is trying to do, changing the wording of the agreement, incorporating things that will be absolutely unacceptable for Iran," Lavrov said in a press conference in his nation’s capital.

His comments come just days after the U.S. President Donald Trump threatened the deal’s co-signers to, “Either fix the deal’s disastrous flaws, or the United States will withdraw” due to what he calls “terrible flaws.”

Former U.S. President Barack Obama signed the agreement along with leaders from China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, Germany, and the European Union in 2015 to help end Iran’s nuclear arms program.

The deal requires, among other provisions, for Iran to reduce its production of enriched uranium, which could be used in nuclear weapons, in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions on the country by the deals signatories.

Russia’s foreign minister added that Trump’s ultimatum over JCPOA, which the U.S. president did not recertify last October on behalf of the government, could jeopardize a future international nuclear deal with North Korea.

In his press conference, Lavrov alluded to the fact that international leaders need to approach Iran and North Korea nuclear programs in an equitable manner.

"They (Iran) are being promised that sanctions will be lifted if they give up their nuclear program. They will give it up, but no one will lift the sanctions against Pyongyang", North Korea.

Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran's National Security Council, also said today that Trump's threats to withdraw from the nuclear deal and reimplement sanctions were fanning "Iranophobia" across the globe and were designed to deprive the country of the economic benefits of the 2015 agreement.



Scaring the international community with the decisions of a madman is a repetitive tactic that has proved to be ineffective," said Shamkhani. JCPOA signers don't seem to be flinching at Trump's threats.

British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson told reports late last week of Trump’s posture to pull out of the JCPOA:

“We greatly value the nuclear deal with Iran, we think it is a considerable diplomatic accomplishment. It’s a way of stopping Iran from acquiring the nuclear weapons and as my colleagues have said Iran is in compliance with this agreement according to the International Atomic Energy Authority.”

He made this statement last week in the company of the foreign ministers of from Germany, the E.U., and France. In a meeting with Iran, Britain, France, and Germany, one diplomat told Reuters “The aim is to send a message to Washington that Iran is complying and that it is better to have the nuclear agreement than to isolate Tehran.”

This is the third time Trump has given a similar ultimate seemingly to save face domestically as ending the deal was one of his main campaign promises. Among other changes, the U.S. president is calling for nuclear inspection timeline to remain indefinite, rather than expiring after 15 years.

EU foreign ministers will discuss their course of action at their next regular meeting on Jan. 22 in Brussels.  

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