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"It will lead to escalation, an arms race, an open conflict with irreversible consequences" – Russia warns US and West not to fail in nuclear deal agreement with Iran

Dec 29, 2022

The Russian government has claimed that Moscow supports the U.S. and its Western allies in finding a nuclear deal with Iran and warned against the threat of an “irreversible” arms race. 

 

 Russia played a critical role in attempting to revive a version of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal, but Moscow’s relationship with Tehran has strengthened since it invaded Ukraine making it an international “pariah” among Western nations. 

 

Russia first threatened to block any progression in nuclear negotiations with Iran after the U.S. and Europe slapped stiff international sanctions on it following its deadly invasion but by mid-March Russia instead demanded guarantees from Washington that its trade with Iran would not be affected by the sanctions so that a nuclear deal could be reached. 

The White House said the months-long negotiations with Iran would not act as an “escape hatch” for Russia, though Lavrov claimed he received written guarantees from the U.S. that it would adhere to his demands. 

“We of course would not sanction Russian participation in nuclear projects that are part of resuming full implementation of the JCPOA. We can’t and we won’t, and we have not provided assurances beyond that to Russia,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said. 

 

 

But on Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov claimed not reviving the deal will cause an arms race in the middle east… While also warning that threats of an attack by Israel or the US on Iran was not an option.

“The JCPOA has no reasonable alternative,” he said in an interview with state owned media outlet RIA. “We consider it irresponsible to speculate about the notorious ‘Plan B’ and other unacceptable options.”

Lavrov claimed not securing a deal would lead “to escalation, an arms race, an open conflict with irreversible consequences.”

 

But despite Russia’s apparent support for the nuclear deal, negotiations stalled again by September after Iran in late August demanded additional changes to a draft proposal.

 

The demands prompted Western officials to  have a dim view of possibilities of a deal with Iran and a video surfaced last week appeared to show President Biden in early November proclaiming that the deal “is dead.”

“The JCPOA has not been on the agenda for months. It is not our focus,” a US state department spokesman said this week. 

 

Lavrov blamed the stalled negotiations squarely on the U.S. and Europe and said their efforts “have sharply slowed down, switching to rocking the internal political situation in Iran.”

The U.S., NATO and Kyiv have accused Iran of supplying Russia with Shahed drones which have been used to strike civilian targets for months in Ukraine – though Moscow and Tehran claim that no such partnership exists. 

“The Westerners started a fuss in the UN Security Council in connection with the alleged deliveries of Iranian ‘drones’ to Russia,” he continued. 

Lavrov claimed Washington and its allies have no proof and echoed repeated denials that Iran is providing Russia with drones to arm its deadly war in Ukraine.