Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Moscow, May 28, 2020 (Excerpts)

May 28, 2020

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Related Country: 

  • United States
  • Russia


US ends sanctions waivers for projects under the nuclear deal with Iran

Since we are talking about international peace and security, and the JCPOA was mentioned, I would like to elaborate on this matter, since there were a lot of questions on the move by the United States to end sanctions waivers for projects carried out as part of the nuclear deal with Iran.

The decision by the United States to end waivers from its unilateral sanctions for a number of projects under the nuclear deal with Iran is yet another demonstration of the US policy of flagrantly violating the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

Russia condemns this move. The international community has been making persistent calls to Washington for a long time now to return to compliance with its commitments under these documents.

We see that the US political elite has a visceral hatred of Iran that outweighs legal responsibility vis-à-vis America’s partners or concerns about its reputation on the international stage as a country capable of reaching deals, or the need to strengthen the authority of the UN Security Council.

It seems that Washington really does not know what else can be done to derail the JCPOA and the UN Security Council Resolution that I have mentioned.

The maximum pressure policy adopted by the US administration regarding Iran shows that the US is incapable of finding any sustainable solutions to complex issues and the inefficiency of the means the US establishment has at its disposal. By acting this way, the US is giving up on all of its claims to leadership and puts it into questions even within the Western community of like-minded countries.

Apparently those who crafted this policy did not even bother to think what the US stands to win from preventing projects under the JCPOA from materialising. Let me remind you that the US experts directly contributed to devising and approving the parameters for these projects that were developed in response to the concerns raised by the United States. It turns out that it is the United States that is standing in the way of carrying out the JCPOA’s provisions on nuclear matters and not Iran whose activities are believed to involve “high risks” in the nuclear sphere, according to the US.

Does this mean that Washington now wants Iran to complete the construction of its reactor in Arak on its own? The United States voiced serious concerns about this prospect not that long ago. If the US has suddenly decided that the thresholds and requirements set forth in the JCPOA for Iran are unfair and need to be cancelled, this does not mean that the US had to withdraw from the JCPOA, impose sanctions or take multiple decisions in stark violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2231. This includes the decision to end sanctions waivers. We did not find answers to these and other questions in yesterday’s perorations by the US Department of State representatives who commented on Washington’s decisions.

The states parties to the JCPOA maintain contacts on an ongoing basis and at all levels and continue to work on all matters related to ensuring the JCPOA and UN Security Council Resolution 2231 are carried out in a consistent and comprehensive manner. They will now have to review the fallout from the new decisions by the US administration.

In practical terms, the move to revoke the waivers is likely to slow down rather than stop the important projects to reconfigure reactors that are at the core of the 2015 agreements. We call on all bona fide parties to the JCPOA to muster up the necessary political will on this matter.