Russia says US must first return to nuclear deal for Iran to comply

By: AFP      Published: 10:04 PM, 26 Jan, 2021
Russia says US must first return to nuclear deal for Iran to comply

Russia said Tuesday that the United States must lift sanctions against Tehran and comply with the Iran nuclear deal as a condition for the Islamic republic to rejoin the accord.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after talks with his Iranian counterpart that he hoped that "the United States returns to full compliance with the corresponding Security Council resolution, creating conditions for Iran to meet its obligations under the nuclear deal".

The Iran nuclear deal was agreed in 2015 between Iran, the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany.

It offered sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on Tehran's nuclear ambitions and guarantees it would not seek an atomic bomb.

The agreement largely fell apart after former US president Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew and ordered officials to reimpose tough penalties against Tehran as part of his administration's "maximum pressure" policy.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif echoed Russia's position Tuesday saying that if Washington lifts sanctions on Iran, "we will return to the full implementation of our obligations" under the agreement.

Washington has suggested it is prepared to rejoin the accord and President Joe Biden's pick for secretary of state, Anthony Blinken, said at a Senate confirmation hearing this month that Trump's policies had made Iran "more dangerous".

France says Iran must comply with nuclear deal before US return

The Iranian government must comply with the terms of the 2015 accord limiting its nuclear programme in order to see the United States return to the deal, a French presidency official said Tuesday.

"If they are serious about negotiations and want to obtain a new commitment from all participants in the JCPOA, first they must refrain from further provocations and second they must respect what they are no longer respecting" in terms of commitments, the official said on condition of anonymity.

Former US president Donald Trump withdrew in 2018 from the accord, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), though his defeat to President Joe Biden has raised the prospect of a US return to the deal.