Lavrov: Some Western states waiting for Iran to violate nuclear deal
Some Western partners want Iran to make a mistake and declare steps, which will be in breach of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear program, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told an international forum, the Primakov Readings, on Tuesday.
“As far as the prospects of preserving the JCPOA are concerned, a lot depends on the Europeans. I will be waiting with interest for a briefing on the outcome of German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas’s trip to Tehran,” Lavrov said, TASS reported.
“I’m not ruling out that some of our partners want Iran to make a mistake and declare certain steps that are not in line with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” Lavrov said, adding, “then someone in the West would breathe easily and shun the responsibility with a clean conscience.”
“This will be very regrettable,” Lavrov said, noting that he expects that Europe would be committed to the UN Security Council’s resolutions.
Lavrov warned the international community against unreasonable attempts to isolate Iran.
“We want calm to return to this region. It is necessary to normalize relations between the Persian Gulf states, and also outside players should avoid fomenting differences,” Lavrov said.
These are objective differences, but it’s a bad sign that they are trying to shift them from an ideological and political perspective to a military angle, he noted.
“I hope that the Arab countries [of the Persian Gulf] understand that calls to bring the policy of isolating Iran to a military scenario are risky.”
Lavrov noted that Russia had tirelessly urged creating a system of security and trust in the region. “We are suggesting particular ideas, which will enable the Arab states of the Persian Gulf and Iran to establish contacts between each other, alleviate mutual concerns and ensure transparency on issues of military construction and military drills,” he explained.
Lavrov’s remarks came amid heightened tensions between Iran and the US which has sent an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf to counter what it claims a threat from Iran.
On Monday, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas paid an official visit to Tehran aimed at easing tensions between Tehran and Washington.
Tensions have worsened in recent months after the US unilateral withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement and its recent military buildup in the Persian Gulf.
US economic terrorism
Following its pullout from the JCPOA, Washington reimposed sanctions against Iran, a move that drew international criticism.
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani told the visiting German top diplomat that the European countries must resist the US economic terrorism against the Iranian nation and live up to their obligations as per the nuclear deal.
“We expect Europe to stand up to and resist America’s economic terrorism against the Iranian nation and fulfill its obligations in accordance with the JCPOA,” Rouhani said, adding that following the US withdrawal from the deal, Iran could have done the same on the strength of Article 36 of the JCPOA, but rather decided to remain patient and give other signatories a chance.
The Iranian president said the US is pressing ahead with its policy of economic terrorism through “cruel sanctions,” stressing that “we believe, in particular, that we must stand against those who block people’s access to medicine and food.”
“The war that the US has waged against Iran since a year ago, will not serve the interest of anybody and the Iranian nation has proved during this period that it will resist against pressure and bullying,” Rouhani said.
The Iranian president added that the US restrictions on the imports of food and medicine to Iran are aimed at exerting pressure on the Iranian people and are in line with Washington’s policy to foment insecurity in the region, saying, “Regional security will never be achieved through imposing pressure and sanctions on the Iranian nation.”