Russia condemns the United States for undermining international security by deciding to end waivers on the American sanctions that target Iran and withdraw from a number of international treaties, including a recent one pertaining to unarmed surveillance flights.
“The nature of this behavior is clearly disruptive,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters on Thursday, AFP reported, adding, “Washington’s actions are becoming more and more dangerous and unpredictable,” she added.
She was referring on one hand to a recent decision by Washington to end sanctions waivers for nations that remain in a 2015 nuclear accord between Tehran and major world powers.
Washington itself left the agreement in 2018 and returned the sanctions that the deal had lifted.
The European partners to the deal — the UK, France, and Germany — have already knuckled under Washington’s pressure by ending their trade with the Islamic Republic for fear of facing the American punitive measures. Russia and China, which are also parties to the nuclear deal, have, however, refused to choke up their cooperation with Tehran in defiance of Washington’s threats.
Also on Thursday, Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), underplayed the effect of the US’ maneuvers, saying Washington’s move concerning the waivers bore no effect on Iran’s activities, including engagement in nuclear cooperation with Russia.
Iran can obtain fuel for its nuclear reactors from Russia “without any problem and at any time we found the need.” Even if the existing nuclear fuel ran out, the Islamic Republic would be able to produce its own fuel without any need to “[rely on] help from any other country,” he added.
On the other hand, Zakharova was addressing another controversial decision by the US to leave the Treaty on Open Skies, which allows member state militaries to conduct surveillance flights over each other’s skies each year at short notice..
The move by Washington follows in the footsteps of its exiting the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and failing to commit to renewing the New START nuclear arms control accord with Russia, which is due to expire in 2021.
Cover photo: Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova