Monday, May 16, 2022

Kremlin: Russia and France share close views on nuclear deal

Russia and France share close views on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or the Iran nuclear deal, the Kremlin announced in a statement following a call between the two countries’ presidents, Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron.

“The state of affairs around the JCPOA on the Iranian nuclear program was considered,” the statement said. 

“It was noted that Russia and France have close positions, actively supporting the continuation of international efforts to preserve and implement the JCPOA, as well as UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which approved it,” it added. 

The JCPOA was inked by Iran and six world powers in 2015. Under the deal, Tehran agreed to put limits on certain aspects of its nuclear activities in exchange for the removal of draconian international sanctions imposed against the country. 

In 2018, however, the US, under President Donald Trump, pulled out of the pact and reinstated sanctions under the so-called ‘maximum pressure campaign’ against Tehran, effectively depriving Iran of the deal’s benefits by forcing third parties to stop doing business with Iran. 

Iran remained patient for an entire year, after which it began to take incremental steps away from its nuclear obligations, especially after Europeans failed to salvage the deal under the US pressure. 

The Islamic Republic’s decision to ramp up its nuclear activities prompted other parties to revive talks earlier this year. 

Iran and the five remaining parties to the JCPOA — Germany, Britain, France, Russia and China — began the talks in the Austrian capital in April with the aim of removing the sanctions after the US voiced its willingness to return to the agreement. 

During the seventh round of the Vienna talks, the first under President Ebrahim Raeisi, Iran presented two draft texts which address, separately, the removal of US sanctions and Iran’s return to its nuclear commitments under the JCPOA. Tehran also said it was preparing a third draft text on the verification of the sanctions removal. 

The eighth round of talks kicked off in Vienna in late December. The negotiations seek to restore the JCPOA in its original form and bring the US back into the agreement. 

Iran insists that the talks must lead to the removal of all American sanctions that were imposed against Tehran following Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the landmark agreement in May 2018. Tehran has also demanded credible guarantees that Washington will not abandon the deal again.

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