Trump would make ‘big mis­take’ by leav­ing deal: Rus­sia

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The Gulf Today - - MIDDLE EAST -

MOSCOW: Rus­sia on Satur­day said Wash­ing­ton would be mak­ing a grave mis­take by pulling out of the Iran nu­clear deal, adding that Moscow would work hard to keep the land­mark agree­ment alive.

Deputy For­eign Min­is­ter Sergei Ryabkov crit­i­cised re­marks by US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, who on Fri­day said the US will not reim­pose nu­clear sanc­tions on Iran for the mo­ment, but would with­draw later this year un­less the terms of the deal are changed.

Ryabkov called Trump’s re­marks “ex­tremely neg­a­tive,” RIA state news agency re­ported. “Our worst fears are be­ing conirmed,” he said.

“We are grad­u­ally com­ing to the con­clu­sion that an in­ter­nal de­ci­sion by the US to leave the (Joint Com­pre­hen­sive Plan of Ac­tion) has al­ready been made or is close to be­ing made,” Ryabkov said in an in­ter­view with In­ter­fax news agency.

“This could be one of Wash­ing­ton’s big for­eign pol­icy mis­takes, a big mis­cal­cu­la­tion in American pol­icy,” he said.

Ryabkov said Moscow must unite with Europe and China and un­der­take “in­tense work” to keep the ex­ist­ing plan in­tact and de­cried what he said was a US at­tempt to stron­garm the sit­u­a­tion.

“In what we heard yes­ter­day, I don’t see any in­vi­ta­tion for Iran to en­ter di­a­logue,” he said. “This deies the logic of the agree­ment.”

“Rus­sia will do ev­ery­thing in its power to save the agree­ment,” he said.

The EU said in a state­ment it had taken note of Trump’s de­ci­sion and would as­sess its im­pli­ca­tions. “It’s going to be com­pli­cated to save the deal af­ter this,” said one Euro­pean diplo­mat, speak­ing on con­di­tion of anonymity.

Bri­tain, France and Ger­many had called on Trump on Thurs­day to up­hold the pact. Two EU diplo­mats said EU for­eign min­is­ters would dis­cuss next steps at their next reg­u­lar meet­ing on Jan. 22 in Brus­sels.

Un­der the hard-won 2015 deal with Rus­sia, the US, China, France, Bri­tain, Ger­many and the EU, Iran agreed to curb its nu­clear pro­gramme in ex­change for lift­ing of a raft of in­ter­na­tional sanc­tions.

Amer­ica’s al­lies see the ac­cord as the best way to thwart Iran’s nu­clear am­bi­tions and a vic­tory for mul­ti­lat­eral di­plo­macy. Tehran cat­e­gor­i­cally de­nies it is seek­ing to de­velop atomic weapons.

But­trumpar­guesthathis­pre­de­ces­sor Barack Obama gave away too much to Iran in sanc­tions re­lief, with­out forc­ing the Is­lamic repub­lic to end its bal­lis­tic mis­sile pro­gramme and sup­port for mil­i­tant groups.

Sergei Ryabkov

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