Following a press conference with his Chinese counterpart, Russia's top diplomat noted that Beijing and Moscow are convinced that it is essential to maintain the agreement, and have agreed that Washington's unilateral sanctions against Iran are illegitimate and are aimed, in particular, at halting oil exports from the country, Sputnik reported.
"We also noted that the Islamic Republic of Iran remains committed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, but expects the same from our European colleagues, who also have to implement their part of the agreements", Lavrov stressed.
The remarks by Lavrov come a few days after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised speech that he had informed the five remaining signatories to the nuclear deal – France, Russia, China, the UK, and Germany – that Tehran will suspend some of its commitments and start increasing uranium enrichment levels after a 60-day period if its demands are not met.
The announcement was made on May 8 – exactly one year after the United States withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal, which envisaged lifting anti-Tehran sanctions in exchange for Iran maintaining the peaceful nature of its nuclear program.
Washington has reinstated all sanctions and imposed new ones, with a stated goal of bringing down Iran's oil exports to zero. At the time, the US provided eight economies – China, India, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, Italy, Greece, and Taiwan – with sanction waiver, having allowed them to continue buying Iranian crude without facing penalties for six more months, as they agreed to cut their oil purchases.
Nonetheless, last month US President Donald Trump decided not to reissue waivers once they expire in May.