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  • Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attend a news conference following their meeting in Moscow, Russia, December 30, 2019.

    Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attend a news conference following their meeting in Moscow, Russia, December 30, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 31 December 2019
Opinion

The ministers made the comment at a joint press conference after their meeting in Moscow earlier in the day.

The international nuclear deal signed with Iran in 2015 is on the brink of collapse because of Washington's decision to withdraw, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday following a meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif.

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“This extremely important international diplomatic achievement, the Joint Plan of Action (JCPOA) for the Iranian nuclear program, is about to collapse,” Lavrov told the press, according to TASS.

Russia’s top diplomat said the United States has undermined the deal by withdrawing but said European signatories have also failed to uphold their end of the bargain.

“We are convinced that if this attitude imposed on all nations by Washington is maintained and the decisions of the United Nations Security Council are ignored, it will lead to serious negative consequences in the (Persian Gulf) region and in international relations,” he said.

The foreign minister met with Zarif in Russia.

Lavrov said Iran would re-apply its commitment to the agreement if the United States and the European Union did so, too.

He said failure to agree would allow those involved to assume that the agreement “died and no longer exists.”

“And then nobody will be bound by compromises,” he added.

Zarif said European states offered their political support for the deal, but no practical measures, especially when it comes to U.S. sanctions.

In May 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew Washington’s involvement in the deal, which also bears the signatures of China, Russia, the United Kingdom, France and Germany, and brought fresh sanctions against the regime in Tehran.

Further sanctions later that year squeezed Iran’s oil and banking sectors.

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