The Russian deputy foreign minister has commented on the latest US sanctions against Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Moscow’s relations with Washington.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has stated that US actions towards Russia are moving bilateral relations toward a deadlock and Washington is responsible for that.
Ryabkov began by underlining that the US sanctions are affecting Americans themselves in the first place. He went on saying that Moscow did not see anything more on the part of the United States than signals about the intention to normalize relations with Russia.
The deputy foreign minister mentioned the pressure put on Moscow and attempts to change the country’s policy through the sanctions, calling them ‘regretful’ and ‘concerning’. He stressed that Moscow would continue to seek a way out of the current deadlock in Russian-American relations.
“We will continue to seek, as far as possible, ways out of the current situation,’ the diplomat said. “We will try to return the Americans to reality and show that their interests also suffer from this kind of methods.”
Sanctions Against Iran
Ryabkov has also mentioned the other batch of sanctions recently imposed against 41 Iranian individuals and companies, including the air force unit of the Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, calling them ineffective and illegal, as they are unilateral.
“Our approach to unilateral sanctions is universal. We consider such practices illegal, contrary to international law and the basic principles of interstate communication,” Ryabkov told reporters when asked to comment on the sanctions imposed on the IRGC Tuesday.
This comment comes the day after the US Treasury Department had announced the extension of sanctions on IRGC, imposed on October 13 over the guards allegedly “supporting terrorism,” a claim strongly denied by Tehran. As specified in the published documents of the US government, these sanctions are introduced in the framework of the US work on countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Sanctions were introduced, in particular, against IRGC commander Mohammad Ali Jafari, the drilling company Oriental Oil Kish, Sepanir Oil & Gas Energy Eng. Co. company, as well as one of the largest Iranian companies Tidewater Middle East Co.
Iran Nuclear Deal
The minister underlined that the existing agreement on the Iran’s nuclear program shouldn`t be changed. According to Ryabkov, a basic concern now is ‘to fully preserve what has been achieved.’
“I would not say that the US administration is directly threatening to get out of the deal. Strictly speaking, the US administration warns that if it does not achieve its goal in terms of ‘improving’ the agreement, then options are possible. But in our opinion, no changes, additions, adjustments to the current agreement are possible because it represents a very well-adjusted, delicate balance of interests and compromises,” Ryabkov told journalists.
He went on saying that the US would be responsible in case of a failure of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“The situation is aggravating, because the mood in the US Congress is very, very anti-Iranian. But ultimately, the responsibility for the hypothetical collapse of the JCPOA will be entirely on the American side. They heard all the assessments from Russia, Iran, European colleagues, China. And they should understand that the consequences of reckless steps in this sphere will be extremely difficult,” Ryabkov told journalists.
US President Donald Trump refused to re-certify the JCPOA, which was signed by six nations after years of diplomatic work, accusing the Islamic Republic of violating the spirit of the agreement. Despite the fact that Trump decided not to contest at the international level Tehran’s compliance with the deal, he has not excluded the US’ possible withdrawal from the deal in case if the agreement is not improved.