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Putin stresses futility of sanctions pressure against Iran in phone talk with Merkel

Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel say there is "no point" in sanctions pressure against Iran, the Kremlin says, amid US efforts to kill the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and major powers.

“When discussing Iran, the Russian president emphasized the futility of sanctions pressure on Tehran and the relevance of efforts to maintain the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the Iranian nuclear program, as approved by UN Security Council Resolution 2231,” the Kremlin’s press office said on Wednesday, Sputnik news agency reported.

According to the press office, the two politicians discussed “a number of pressing issues” with regards to bilateral ties, including the coronavirus response, and efforts to maintain the Iran deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The JCPOA was signed between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries — the United States, Britain, France, Russia, and China plus Germany — in July 2015. Under the deal, Iran was required to limit certain aspects of its nuclear program in exchange for a lifting of sanctions against the country and the ending of the UN arms embargo. 

However, the administration of US President Donald Trump unilaterally left the agreement in May 2018, reintroducing sanctions against Tehran.

In opposition to the US policy line on Iran, the Europeans initially pledged commitment to the survival of the JCPOA, but Iran says they failed in practice to shield Tehran’s interests in the face of US pressures and its so-called maximum pressure campaign.  

The US is now seeking to extend an arms embargo on Iran beyond the October 2020 expiration date set out under the JCPOA. 

Iran has taken a swipe at the US for its attempts to trigger a “snapback” of all UN sanctions against the country, arguing Washington is no longer a party to the JCPOA.

On the fifth anniversary of the conclusion of the JCPOA, Iran urged the European parties to the 2015 nuclear deal to live up to their obligations under the agreement, which has been the target of the US’ “illegal” and “destructive” moves, stressing Tehran’s resolve to take “decisive” action against any “irresponsible behavior” undermining the UN-endorsed document.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday that the JCPOA is “an important achievement of multilateral diplomacy, which has been strongly supported by the international community,” but it is in “serious danger.”

The ministry called on the international community to prevent the historic deal from becoming yet another victim of Washington’s “unilateral and unlawful” approach by ensuring “the balanced implementation” of the accord by all parties.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry also warned the remaining signatories against involvement in US conspiracies, particularly attempts to destroy and weaken the UN’s arms embargo system.

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