US starts exerting pressure on European countries in relation to Iran deal - Lavrov

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MOSCOW, May 15. /TASS/. European countries have begun to face US pressure in relation to the Iran nuclear deal, Russia’s Acting Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a press conference on Tuesday following talks with Philippine top diplomat Alan Peter Cayetano.
"All other parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) for Iran’s nuclear program have reaffirmed their commitment to obligations so far," he said when asked if the United States could exert pressure on other participants in the deal. "Iran’s representatives also reaffirmed that, particularly during yesterday’s visit of Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. China and three European countries - France, Great Britain and Germany - have also said they remain committed to the agreement," Lavrov added.
According to him, Moscow could see pressure being exerted on them. "Ultimatums have been issued citing the need to stop trade with Iran, including the exports of certain goods and the imports of Iranian oil, the deadlines of 60 and 90 days have been set. It is kind of a plan to exert strong pressure," the Russian top diplomat pointed out.
"However, our European counterparts tell us they are getting ready to become independent from the US in relation to their trade and economic ties with Iran," the Russian top diplomat went on to say. "We are interested in discussing the issue with all countries remaining within the agreement on Iran’s nuclear program," he noted.
"We will see how resilient the Europeans will be this time, for in the past there were times when they eventually gave in to Washington, damaging their own legitimate interests," Lavrov added.
He also pointed out that the United States had lost all its rights concerning the JCPOA after the withdrawal. "By pulling out of the JCPOA, the US lost all its rights concerning the document, as there are a number of provisions that provide certain rights to participants. So Washington has lost these rights and I don’t think the US denies it," Lavrov concluded.

Iran nuclear deal issue

In 2015, Iran and six major powers (five member states of the United Nations Security Council - Russia, the United States, France, the United Kingdom and China - and Germany) agreed on the final Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) for the Iranian nuclear program, which particularly stipulates the removal of sanctions imposed on Tehran over its nuclear program.
On May 8, Trump announced Washington’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. He said that old sanctions on Iran would be restored and new ones would be introduced in case Tehran attempted to pursue its nuclear ambitions.
In the wake of Trump’s decision, the leaders of Great Britain, Germany and France - Theresa May, Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron - called on other participants in the deal to continue fulfilling it. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Tehran would not abandon the JCPOA and would continue to comply with its obligations. Russia’s foreign minister said that Washington’s withdrawal from the JCPOA would violate the United Nations Security Council’s resolution. He added that Russia would seek to maintain the agreement despite US plans to resume sanctions against Iran.

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