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US sanctions on Iran didn’t work, won’t either: Russia’s Lavrov

Russia has censured the United States for leveling “futile” accusations against Iran in a bid to demonize the Islamic Republic, saying the sanctions that Washington has imposed on Tehran in the past to strangle it “did not work before and will not work now.”

“A reliable and sustainable resolution of problems is possible only through agreements between all parties involved, while the entire current logic of the US policy is set on making Iran the focus of all containment and punishment efforts,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said during his Thursday interview with Sputnik, which was published on Friday.

Iran has time and again stated readiness for dialogue and is still ready for talks that “cannot be based on ultimatums that the US side periodically brings forth,” Lavrov said.

Russia, he underscored, along with other parties to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is ready to “help start such dialogue.”

“Together with the European states and China, we stand for the JCPOA on settling the Iranian nuclear issue, which was approved by the UN Security Council [Resolution 2231] in 2015, and which is now being destroyed by the US, which focuses on their drive to demonize Iran,” Lavrov said.

The Russian foreign minister noted that the UN Security Council continues discussion in this regard. He said 13 out of 15 of the members oppose Washington in its attempts to “destroy the JCPOA and to blame Iran for everything that’s been happening.”

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday that the United States would return to the UN to have the sanctions re-imposed on Iran next week.

Speaking at a press conference in Washington with British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, he added that the US would also do all it needed to make sure those sanctions are enforced.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that the United States has suffered a “humiliating defeat” in its push to trigger the so-called snapback mechanism. Rouhani said this weekend — the date when Washington claims the UN sanctions will be reinstated against Tehran — will mark a victory for the Iranian nation.

Rouhani made the remarks during a cabinet meeting as the 30-day countdown for a return of UN restrictive measures that the US claims to have activated against Iran will end over the weekend.

“Saturday and Sunday are the days of the Iranian nation’s victory and America’s humiliating defeat,” the president said. “I congratulate the Iranian nation in advance on its great and historic victory in defeating America’s attempts to trigger the snap-back mechanism.”

On August 20, Pompeo formally notified the United Nations of Washington’s demand for all the UN Security Council sanctions on Iran to be restored, citing what he claimed to be Iranian violations of the nuclear deal.

The administration of President Donald Trump of the United States left the agreement in 2018.

In reaction to the notification that was being handed to the UN Secretariat by Pompeo himself, the remaining signatories to the deal, however, maintained that Washington could not initiate the mechanism because it had left the accord.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday that despite Pompeo’s recent remarks, Washington cannot re-impose the UN sanctions on Tehran on September 20 because the US is not a party to the agreement anymore.

This was not the first time that the US was failing to rally the international community behind Trump’s “maximum pressure” policy on Iran.

On August 14, the Security Council had also rejected a US-drafted resolution to extend an arms embargo on Iran that is due to expire in October under the JCPOA.

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