MOSCOW : Russia has said Washington would be making a grave mistake by pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal, adding that Moscow would work hard to keep the landmark agreement alive.
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov criticised remarks by US President Donald Trump, who said the US will not reimpose nuclear sanctions on Iran for the moment, but would withdraw later this year unless the terms of the deal are changed.
Ryabkov called Trump’s remarks “extremely negative,” RIA state news agency reported. “Our worst fears are being confirmed,” he said.
“We are gradually coming to the conclusion that an internal decision by the US to leave the (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) has already been made or is close to being made,” Ryabkov said in an interview with Interfax news agency.
“This could be one of Washington’s big foreign policy mistakes, a big miscalculation in American policy,” he said.
Ryabkov said Moscow must unite with Europe and China and undertake “intense work” to keep the existing plan intact and decried what he said was a US attempt to strongarm the situation.
“In what we heard yesterday, I don’t see any invitation for Iran to enter dialogue,” he said. “This defies the logic of the agreement.”
“Russia will do everything in its power to save the agreement,” he said.
The EU said in a statement it had taken note of Trump’s decision and would assess its implications. “It’s going to be complicated to save the deal after this,” said one European diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Britain, France and Germany had called on Trump on Thursday to uphold the pact. Two EU diplomats said EU foreign ministers would discuss next steps at their next regular meeting on Jan. 22 in Brussels.
Under the hard-won 2015 deal with Russia, the US, China, France, Britain, Germany and the EU, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear programme in exchange for lifting of a raft of international sanctions.
America’s allies see the accord as the best way to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions and a victory for multilateral diplomacy. Tehran categorically denies it is seeking to develop atomic weapons.
But Trump argues that his predecessor Barack Obama gave away too much to Iran in sanctions relief, without forcing the Islamic republic to end its ballistic missile programme and support for militant groups.
Orignally published by NNI