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US violates spirit, letter of Iran’s nuclear deal: Russian diplomat

A senior Russian diplomat has once again defended the Iran’s nuclear deal, censuring the United States for violating both the spirit and letter of the multilateral agreement, while Tehran has remained fully compliant.

According to Press TV, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told reporters on Tuesday “The Islamic Republic of Iran has committed to its obligations under the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) fully and in a most responsible manner, so far and hopefully in the future.”

However, Ryabkov added, the US administration “violated not only the spirit, but also the letter” of the JCPOA, slamming US President Donald Trump for refusing on Friday to certify Iran’s compliance.

While Trump did not pull Washington out of the nuclear deal, he gave the US Congress 60 days to decide whether to re-impose economic sanctions against Tehran that were lifted under the pact. Re-imposing sanctions would put the US at odds with other signatories to the accord and the European Union.

The US president has repeatedly insisted that the nuclear deal should be renegotiated, or it may face the prospect of total collapse.

This is while all the other signatories to the deal, including Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China have stressed their full commitment to the JCPOA.

Iran has vehemently rejected the possibility of renegotiating the deal, warning that any hostile action against the JCPOA will jeopardize the regional and global peace and security.

The EU foreign ministers also urged US lawmakers on Monday not to re-impose sanctions on Tehran and warned against the serious consequences for regional peace of a failure to maintain the international agreement backed by the UN Security Council.

Ryabkov warned that US proposals on the deal “could de-facto paralyze the JCPOA or completely wipe it out in the worst case scenario.”

“We are going to explain again and again to our American colleagues [the] unacceptability and shallowness of the [US] approach,” he noted.

Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limitations on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran.

While the JCPOA is solely about Iran’s nuclear program, Trump administration claims that Tehran’s growing regional influence and the country’s achievements in its conventional missile program violates the “spirit” of the nuclear deal.

“There is no direct link between nuclear and ballistic programs of Iran in the text [of the agreement],” Ryabkov said, arguing that the deal merely calls on Tehran to refrain from developing missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

The senior Russian official had also spoken in defense of the JCPOA last week, saying the international document is working “quite efficiently” and requires no amendment. He was responding to Trump’s call for the signatories to the deal to address the “flaws” in it.