8 May, 2018
Moscow is “deeply disappointed” by Washington’s decision to pull out from the Iranian nuclear deal, the Russian Foreign Ministry said. The step taken by the US is a “flagrant violation” of the international law, it added.
“The US once again acts contrary to the position of most countries while pursuing solely its own narrow selfish and momentary interests,” the Russian ministry said in a statement, following the announcement by Donald Trump that the US is pulling out the deal and imposing sanctions on Iran. Washington “flagrantly violates the international law,” the statement adds while drawing attention to the fact that “there are no reasons for disrupting” the deal.
What the US’ actions really show is that Washington is, in fact, incapable of conducting negotiations, the statement says. The latest move taken by Trump only proves that the grievances the US has had against the “absolutely legal Iranian nuclear activity” have always been just a “pretext for settling political scores” with Tehran, it added.
Russian lawmakers also slammed Trump’s decision. “This is an egregious violation of the UN Security Council’s resolution as well as a disruption of years-long diplomatic efforts in this field that creates a threat to international security,” the head of the Russian State Duma’s International Affairs Committee, Leonid Slutsky, told journalists, referring to the US withdrawal from the deal.
Slutsky also called on all other parties to the deal, as well as on the international community, to “show prudence” and take efforts to keep the deal in place. In the meantime, the head of the Duma’s Defense Committee, Vladimir Shamanov, denounced the US’ actions as purely “politically motivated” and said that Iran’s compliance with the deal was repeatedly confirmed by international organizations that “had no issues” with Tehran.
“The US intractability goes far beyond the scope of any civilized international relations,” Russian Senator Andrey Klimov said, commenting on the issue. The senator, who is the deputy head of the Russian Federation Council’s International Relations Committee, also said that this decision would “enormously harm” the reputation of the US.
“It is also a … signal particularly to Pyongyang: do not trust the United States,” Klimov said, referring to the upcoming negotiations between the US and North Korea. The senator also warned that the future of the deal “hangs by a single thread” and expressed his hope that the European parties to the deal would not follow the US’ suit.
Earlier, Russian senators warned about potential serious consequences of the US withdrawal from the deal. “If this information [about Trump’s plans to abandon the deal] is confirmed, the situation will become worse than it was before the deal was reached,” the deputy head of the Russian Federation Council’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Vladimir Dzhabarov, told the RIA news agency, commenting on the issue before Trump made his announcement.
The US leader apparently seeks to renegotiate the deal on his own terms by forcing Iran to yield to the US’ demands, the Russian senator said. He added, though, that Trump also “double-crosses his partners in the EU and NATO by taking such a decision.”
“By abandoning the Iran deal, Trump takes yet another incautious step,” Aleksey Pushkov, the head of the Information Policy Committee of the Russian parliament’s upper house, said in a Twitter post. He then also warned that such a decision would leave the US in “quasi-isolation,” as it was in case of moving the US embassy to Jerusalem.
Выходя из сделки с Ираном, Трамп совершает очередной опрометчивый шаг. США вновь, как и в случае с Иерусалимом, останутся в квази-изоляции. Это не принесет ему лавров. А Ким перед встречей с Трампом сделает свои выводы: гарантиям США никогда нельзя доверять.
— Алексей Пушков (@Alexey_Pushkov) May 8, 2018
The US move would bring nothing but just another spiral of tension, the deputy head of the Russian Senate’s defense committee, Yevgeny Serebrennikov, said. “We do not expect anything good to come out of it,” he told RIA.
The JCPOA was negotiated in the summer of 2015 and envisaged Tehran curbing its nuclear program by reducing the number of enrichment facilities by two-thirds, cutting its enriched uranium stockpile by 98 percent and keeping enrichment below the weapons-grade level. In exchange, the six powers agreed to lift sanction imposed on the Islamic Republic over a decade because of its nuclear program.
The deal never covered Iran’s missile activities or any other actions, though. Iran repeatedly refused to discuss its missile program with the Western powers, adding that it is being developed solely for defensive purposes.
Tehran’s compliance with the 2015 agreement was then repeatedly confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN nuclear watchdog. Trump, however, repeatedly called the agreement the “worst deal ever negotiated” and demonstrated apparent aspiration to “dismantle” it on many occasions. Russia and China relentlessly warned the US against unilaterally revising the agreement, which they argue would hurt global security.