A senior Iranian diplomat says Iran and Russia are "reliable partners" on many international developments and on a landmark 2015 nuclear agreement, despite the United States' efforts to create obstacles in the way of the deal's implementation.
In a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Ryabkov in Moscow on Friday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi hailed Russia's "logical, balanced and just" stance on the nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), after the US move to withdraw from it.
Back on May 8, US President Donald Trump announced that he would abandon the JCPOA, reached between Iran and six world powers – the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China. He also announced that he would reinstate the sanctions against Iran that were lifted as part of the agreement.
Under the JCPOA, Iran agreed to limit parts of its peaceful nuclear program in exchange for the removal of all nuclear-related sanctions.
In November, the Trump administration announced the re-imposition of the “toughest” sanctions ever against Iran's banking and energy sectors with the aim of cutting off the country's oil sales and crucial exports.
A first round of American sanctions took effect in August, targeting Iran's access to the US dollar, metals trading, coal, industrial software, and auto sector.
The US administration hoped to get the other parties to the deal with Iran to likewise scrap the deal, but instead, they stressed that not only would they stick to the agreement, but they would also work to sustain it in the face of increased US pressure. Europeans believe that the nuclear deal is an important element of international security.
Meanwhile, Russia's TASS news agency also quoted Araqchi as saying that Tehran is grateful for Moscow's stance on the JCPOA.
"I totally agree that Iran and Russia and reliable partners. Our cooperation concerning the regional and international agenda has been very honest, we have similar positions on many regional and global issues," the Iranian diplomat said.
He noted that the current crisis surrounding the nuclear deal had stemmed from Washington’s actions.
At the same time, he was hopeful that other participants in the deal would continue to implement it, saying, "We hope that the JCPOA’s European participants will remain committed to their obligations."
Late in November, Iran's nuclear chief criticized the US administration's efforts to prevent the implementation of the multilateral nuclear agreement through exerting pressure on other countries to make them pursue Washington's policies vis-a-vis the deal.
Elsewhere in his Friday meeting, Araqchi said Iran and Russia share stance on regional and international issues.
He emphasized that many international woes are rooted in wrong policies of the US and some of its allies in the Middle East region.