A senior Russian diplomat has urged the US to stop using “methods of blatant blackmail and intimidation” aimed at forcing Iran out of a 2015 multilateral nuclear deal, saying Washington will be responsible if the accord collapses.
In a statement published on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s website on Wednesday, Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s permanent representative to international organizations in Vienna complained about America’s “irresponsible line” towards the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the official name of the deal.
He said the US has not only withdrawn from the JCPOA, but also attempts to undermine the accord by blocking the implementation of its economic part.
“By using the methods of blatant blackmail and intimidation, the US seeks to force other countries to curtail legitimate trade and economic ties with Iran, primarily in the oil and banking sectors,” he added.
Ulyanov also called on Washington to review its policy of attempting to force Tehran out of the agreement.
“In fact, Washington pushes Tehran out of a nuclear deal and provokes it to take radical retaliatory steps,” he said. “We urge the US to reconsider its line towards torpedoing the major nuclear non-proliferation achievement, allowing the international community to be confident in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program.”
Moscow understands Tehran’s recent decision to backtrack from some of its obligations under the JCPOA, the Russian diplomat said, urging the Islamic Republic “not to succumb to provocations and refrain from further escalation.”
He also noted that the remaining signatories to the JCPOA would make efforts to restore the balance between the nuclear and economic elements of the agreement, and that Russia would continue “practical work” in that regard.
“We are also calling on other economic partners of Iran not to succumb to external pressure, bearing in mind that in current circumstances commercial ties with Iran also have an important political dimension,” he said.
The JCPOA was signed between Iran and six world states — namely the US, Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China. Washington, however, left the accord last May, leaving the future of the historic deal in doubt.
Critical of Washington’s move, the European parties to the JCPOA vowed efforts to keep the deal in place by protecting Tehran against the tough economic sanctions Washington has re-imposed on Iran.
As the Europeans failed to deliver on that pledge, Iran suspended, in mid-May, the implementation of some of its commitments based on its legal rights under Articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA, giving the other signatories 60 days to put their mere verbal support for the accord into concrete action.