Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov discussed the restoration of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a phone call on Wednesday.
The conversation was initiated by the US, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on its official website.
“The counterparts exchanged views on the prospects for restoring the full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action for the settlement of the Iranian Nuclear Program (JCPOA), and also discussed a number of topical issues on the bilateral agenda,” it said.
Read more: US Iran nuclear deal to be revived soon
The conversation took place ahead of Lavrov’s meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who arrived in Moscow earlier on Wednesday for talks with his Russian counterpart.
Delegations from the JCPOA’s signatories, the UK, France, Germany, Russia, and China launched efforts in April to bring Tehran and Washington, which abandoned the deal in 2018, back into its fold.
After the June 18 election victory of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, these negotiations in Vienna were suspended.
In the talks, Iran demands that all Western sanctions be lifted, while its interlocutors seek to reinstate controls on its nuclear program.
Unless both Iran and the United States change tack when talks resume, negotiations to revive the Iran nuclear deal will end in deadlock, with dire consequences for the wider Middle East, write @AliVaez and @vali_nasr.https://t.co/Ky361KS7BG
— Foreign Affairs (@ForeignAffairs) September 28, 2021
US sanctions on Iran
Despite Iran’s verified compliance with the deal, the United States unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA on May 8, 2018, and subsequently re-imposed all U.S. sanctions on Iran lifted by the accord.
The United States further announced the termination of designated sanctions waivers for cooperative nuclear projects detailed in the JCPOA, including the transfer of enriched uranium out of Iran.
In response, Iran began to incrementally violate the agreement in May 2019. Tehran tied its decision to breach the JCPOA’s limits to the deal’s failure to deliver sanctions relief envisioned by the accord and, implicitly, U.S. withdrawal from the deal.
Iran is still a JCPOA participant and says it will return to compliance with the accord if its demands on sanctions relief are met.
Courtesy: Anadolu Agency with additional input by GVS