Question: According to a TASS report, everyone at the Vienna talks is striving to restore the JCPOA in its original form, and they agreed to proceed this way. What are Russia’s assessments of that?
Maria Zakharova: We have repeatedly spoken about Russian assessments. It is an indisputable truth that restoring is always harder than destroying. That is why we called on our US partners to reconsider when they unilaterally “fled” from the agreement by violating the ways and forms of withdrawing from the agreement that they had devised themselves. I think the incumbent colleagues in Washington have multiple regrets about the previous administration’s fatal decision to break up the nuclear deal with Iran. We know what the maximum pressure policy can lead to. The results are always known in advance. We sincerely hope and wish that our US partners will avoid such mistakes on other tracks in the future.
The key issue today is how to return the implementation of the JCPOA to a steady track in compliance with the parameters and conditions agreed upon in 2015 and fixed by the UNSC Resolution 2231. There is a clear and shared understanding that the path to achieving this goal lies through the United States mending all its violations and reciprocal steps by Tehran to unfreeze previously halted voluntary obligations on limiting Iran’s nuclear programme. It is in this vein that efforts are being made. Let me stress, it is not about concluding a new deal to replace the 2015 comprehensive agreements. We have to carefully, by bits and pieces, restore the balance of interests which initially was the foundation of the JCPOA and was lost due to US actions.
We note the shared commitment of the Vienna format talks participants to gain the result as soon as possible. We see no reason to claim that the Iranian side impedes the process. This is not in their interest since as long as JCPOA is stalled, illegal US sanctions continue.
Concurrently, Washington also needs to give a tangible confirmation to its repeated promises to rejoin the JCPOA. It is obvious that the status of a party that had violated UNSC Resolution 2231 creates an increasing discomfort for the Americans. For our part, we do everything necessary to help them rectify the situation: diplomatic efforts, specific work and interaction with the parties.
We hope the intensive negotiating efforts at the Vienna venue will go on regardless of the resistance from the opponents of the nuclear deal. We firmly proceed from the assumption that the JCPOA has no alternative. We strongly believe that its complete implementation will have a positive effect on the political climate in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf area, de-escalate tensions there and enhance trust among the region’s nations. Acute issues will be settled in the humanitarian field which emerged due to illegal developments caused by the US withdrawal from the deal.