Moscow (May 14, 2018): Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif have agreed to remain in “close contact” over the nuclear deal between Iran and six powers in the wake of Washington’s withdrawal from the landmark agreement.
Lavrov and Zarif met today in Moscow — the Iranian diplomat’s second stop, after Beijing, on a tour of key capitals as Tehran deals with the fallout from US President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the 2015 accord, which provides Tehran with relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear program.Lavrov said at a meeting with the Iranian foreign minister that it is necessary to prevent any new threats to the nuclear non-proliferation regime.
Russia and a number of other countries have legitimate interests in the Iranian nuclear deal and they must be jointly defended, Lavrov said.
“We have planned contacts with all parties to this deal, except for the United States which announced the withdrawal from the agreement, in the coming days,” Lavrov said.Mohammad Javad Zarif said that the balance within the JCPOA was altered following the US withdrawal from the multilateral agreement. He added that Iran would discuss ways to cooperate in a 4+1 format within the JCPOA.
“Russia’s position is encouraging for us. I hope that today I will be able to hold consultations with you on the ways of cooperation in the 4+1 format,” Zarif said at a meeting with Lavrov.
“Unfortunately, the protest against international rules and laws has become a habitual practice for the US government. … The JCPOA corresponds to the balance of commitments between the Iranian side and Europe and, in particular, the United States, and of course this balance has been undermined after the US withdrawal,” Zarif said.