Lavrov raps US ‘destructive actions’ on Iran nuclear deal
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Monday after talks with his Russian counterpart that Iran welcomed a Russian proposal for ensuring security in the Persian Gulf.
Speaking at a joint press conference, Zarif and Sergei Lavrov blamed US policies for tensions in the Middle East.
Zarif said the US is seeking to make money by selling weapons to regional countries.
He also warned that Iran would further scale back its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal if European parties "do not fulfill their commitments" before September 5 to shield Iran's economy from sanctions reimposed by the United States since President Donald Trump exited the deal last year.
Iran has already gradually freed itself from certain obligations of the agreement and has since tried to convince the European parties to this agreement – France, the United Kingdom, and Germany – to take concrete measures to override US sanctions.
"It is meaningless to continue unilateral commitments to the deal if we don't enjoy its benefits as promised by the deal's European parties," he said.
"We would of course take a third step," Zarif said.
The top diplomat also highlighted the importance of bilateral ties between Tehran and Moscow and said the two sides’ close cooperation is to the benefit of both nations as well as other countries in the region and the world.
“Our relations with Russia are at an acceptable level,” he said, adding that although the US has created obstacles for Russia, China and other countries, but Tehran and Moscow have close ties.
Hailing Macron’s attitude
Lavrov accused Washington of seeking to "provoke" Tehran.
"Our American partners are openly seeking to provoke Iran with the support of some of their regional allies," he said.
Lavrov said he regrets the "destructive actions" of the United States, which unilaterally withdrew from the text signed in Vienna in 2015 after lengthy negotiations and imposed new sanctions on Iran.
The Russian diplomat commended the "useful" efforts of French President Emmanuel Macron to try to convince Washington to ease sanctions against Tehran and save the Iran nuclear agreement.
"We are hoping that this useful initiative of the French president will bear fruit," he told reporters.
Lavrov said Russia supports "the attitude of the French president to the extent that it aims to complete the agreement in its entirety, without additions and without exemptions."
In recent weeks, the French president has increased his efforts to try to convince the United States to loosen the grip around Iran, for example by allowing the country to export some of its oil.
Lavrov and Zarif also discussed the situation in Syria, denouncing the recent American strike in the Idlib region, where there has been a precarious calm since the initiation of a cease-fire on Saturday.
"Together with Russia and Turkey, Iran has ensured relative security and calm in Syria," Zarif said.
"But the United States is creating a new unstable situation east of the Euphrates in Syria including through actions they've undertaken in Idlib."
Moscow has said that the Americans hit the region "without advance notice to Russia or Turkey," threatening the fragile cease-fire in Idlib.
Reuters and AFP contributed to this story.