Russia’s Lavrov: Trade With Iran Will Not Depend On US “Whim”

Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday that other parties to Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal had agreed to work out ways of trading with Iran independently of the United States’ “whim”, Interfax news agency reported.

Lavrov said new ways of trading with Iran would be needed if Washington restores sanctions against Tehran, according to Interfax.

The minister also expressed doubts that US sanctions policy against Iran would be changed.

“Yes, the threat of extra-territorial sanctions, which Washington is imposing in the coming month as the first wave, followed by the ban on buying Iranian oil as the second wave of sanctions in November, has already been voiced by Washington. Everyone agrees that this practice is absolutely illegitimate. But this is the policy that is unlikely to be changed. There will be an intensive fight in trade and economic and political spheres. The permanent expert mechanism will be working out trade solutions that will not create problems for economic actors of those countries who remain committed to the JCPOA,” he added.

Lavrov stressed the importance of comprehensive trade solutions and methods toward Iran.

“It is of utmost importance to have these trade solutions and methods comprehensive enough because Iran agreed on this deal in exchange for a full liberalization of those conditions that existed during the sanctions regime. These agreements are put forward in the final statement of the meeting. It also mentions the areas that we are going to work on in order to have a trade and economic partnership with Iran independent from the United States,” the minister said.

According to Lavrov, Iran will remain committed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and will continue cooperating with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), despite formally having the right to break its obligations after the US unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear deal.

“In reply to the calls from all the participants, Iran confirmed its commitment to its obligations under the JCPOA. This means Iran will continue cooperating with the IAEA, though the Iranian minister noted that after the US unilateral step aimed at breaking the deal Tehran formally has the reason and the right to… exit the deal, but they will not apply it… I think this is a responsible stance, and I hope it will be kept,” he said.

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