Russia: There's still hope for Iran nuclear deal

Russian Foreign Minister says there is still a chance to bring 2015 deal "into a stable situation".

Elad Benari ,

Sergey Lavrov
Sergey Lavrov

Russia still believes there is hope of rescuing the nuclear deal with Iran, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday, according to AFP.

"We are convinced that there is still a chance to return the (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) into a stable situation," said Lavrov as he met with Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif in Moscow.

"In any case, we will do everything to make it happen, just like our Iranian friends," he added.

Iran signed the agreement with the five UN Security Council members plus Germany in 2015, agreeing to limit its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

However, the deal has been on life support since US President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018 and reimposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

In response to the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal and its imposition of sanctions, Iran has scaled back its compliance with the agreement.

These steps included Iran restarting uranium enrichment at the underground Fordow facility in violation of the deal, as well as threatening to take further steps to reduce its commitments.

Both ministers remarked that the deal "turned five years old" last week, with Zarif calling it a "historical international agreement."

The US in recent weeks has said that it would use all means available to extend a UN arms embargo on Iran which is due to expire in October and which enshrined the 2015 nuclear deal. The United States has put forward a resolution to extend the embargo but faces opposition from veto-wielding Russia and China, which stand to win contracts with Tehran.

Iran’s UN ambassador warned recently that he believes the US resolution to extend the arms embargo will be defeated and warned it would be “a very, very big mistake” if the Trump administration then tries to re-impose UN sanctions.

Britain, France and Germany have made clear they would not back US efforts to unilaterally trigger the reimposition of United Nations sanctions on Iran.

Zarif, meanwhile, said earlier this month that the preservation of the 2015 nuclear deal depended on the scheduled end of the UN arms embargo on his country.