Russia not to take part in any talks to amend nuclear deal

Russia has said it is confident that Iran is fulfilling all its obligations under a multilateral agreement on its nuclear program and will not take part in any talks on amending the deal.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov made the remarks Saturday at an international nuclear weapons non-proliferation conference in Moscow, TASS news agency reported, according to Tehran Times.

Russia is not ready to participate in any talks on amending the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Ryabkov was quoted as saying.

The deal is delicately balanced and any change could lay waste the whole agreement, he warned.

“Any shift of this balance will cause unavoidable collapse of the entire mechanism, and it would be impossible to assemble it in some new form... It is unrealistic to adjust the agreement, as all the issues, which required settlement, were solved this or that way,” he noted.

"We have no doubts, Iran fulfills all terms of the agreements," said Ryabkov, adding, “Almost two years of the Joint Comprehensive Plan have demonstrated the agreement works effectively and copes fully with the outlined tasks. There is no alternative to the Plan of Action. We do not see reasons or opportunities to review or change it.”

The JCPOA was reached between Iran, the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States – Germany and the European Union in July 2015. Under the deal, Iran agreed to put limits on its program in exchange for termination of economic and financial sanctions.

However, on Oct. 13, U.S. President Donald Trump called for decertifying the agreement, alleging Iran had committed "multiple violations".

Though the decertification would not mean Washington exiting the Iran nuclear deal at the moment, it would open a 60-day window in which the U.S. Congress could reimpose nuclear-related sanctions on Iran.

International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano said last week that Iran was implementing the JCPOA under a robust verification regime.

‘IAEA not authorized to carry out military site inspections in Iran’

The International Atomic Energy Agency is not authorized to carry out inspections of Iran’s military sites, TASS quoted Ryabkov as saying on Sunday.

“I would like to say absolutely clear and directly that acquiring some false topicality the theme of the IAEA work on Section T (about Iran’s military facilities - TASS) of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) over the Iran nuclear program has no topicality for us although it is a talking point now,” he said.

In particular, Moscow says that the IAEA “has not been authorized to carry out such inspections and cannot be tasked because Section T highlights the issues out of the agency’s competence,” Ryabkov said.

"Nevertheless, we can hear another thing. As in the issue of the Iran missile program, some of our counterparts prefer to call black white and vice versa," the high-ranking diplomat said. “We cannot get them to understand this evident logic and obvious truth.”

“Since they are insisting, we say if you cannot do without discussions on the theme, it should be raised at the Joint Commission when the next session is convened,” Ryabkov said.

If the other participants are eager to discuss the issue, Moscow “will be ready to discuss it” presenting its stance, he said.

‘Canceling JCPOA merely endorsed by pro-war neocons’

A Los Angeles-based former congressional staffer on Saturday asserted that canceling the nuclear deal is merely endorsed by “pro-war neocons” in the U.S. politics as well as the Israeli regime, particularly Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“I suspect the real reason behind President Trump’s position is that he is not going to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem [al-Quds] and so he is going to compensate by his failure to deliver on that promise by throwing Netanyahu a bone,” Rodney Martin said, citing Bibi’s attempts against the JCPOA after Trump won the U.S. presidency.

Martin further pointed to a poll that showed the majority of Americans believe that Trump should not pull the country out of the international deal, asserting that the public opinion “does not matter” that much as the president is being led by “a very small dangerous cabal.”

Hailed as a “great friend to the Jewish people” by the Israeli premier, Trump has mended ties with Tel Aviv, which had gone sour under former President Barack Obama, in part due to his resolve to participate in nuclear negotiations with Tehran, which yielded a nuclear deal not welcomed by U.S. regional allies, namely Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Earlier on Saturday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned against breaking up the Iran nuclear agreement with world powers, saying it is “vital for strategic stability.”

 

M.Wassouf

 

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