30 May 2019 13:24

Still possible to prevent Tehran's possible withdrawal from JCPOA, NPT - Russian ambassador to Iran

MOSCOW. May 30 (Interfax) - Moscow will deeply regret Iran's potential withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), but there is still a chance to avert this negative scenario, Russian Ambassador to Iran Levan Dzhagaryan said in an interview published in the newspaper Izvestia on Thursday.

"Doubtlessly, Iran's possible withdrawal from the JCPOA and the NPT will result in our deep regret. At this stage, we are continuing to reassure the Iranians, consistently persuading them not to give up their obligations both under this nuclear deal and under the Additional Protocol to the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement, the provisions of which, by the way, Tehran follows on its own volition," Dzhagaryan said.

"If Iran still decides to sever the JCPOA, responsibility for the collapse of these internationally recognized agreements will rest entirely with the U.S., which gravely violated the obligations it assumed, withdrew from the JCPOA, and continues to step up pressure on Iran by introducing illegal unilateral sanctions," he said.

However, "there is still time for diplomacy," Dzhagaryan said.

"We will continue working together with our partners in this nuclear deal to prevent the JCPOA situation from becoming negative," he said.

When asked by Izvestia whether Russia would continue to fulfill its obligations to upgrade a nuclear power plant near the Iranian city of Bushehr despite the threat of U.S. sanctions, Dzhagaryan said that "as of now, the state corporation Rosatom is cooperating with Iran in compliance with the provisions of the NPT, the IAEA Charter, and the JCPOA."

"Work on specific projects is regulated by agreements and contracts that were signed with Iranian partners in strict compliance with Russia's international obligations and national legislation. We proceed from the premise that the scrupulous implementation of these contractual obligations is an indispensable condition for international cooperation in nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear security," Dzhagaryan said.

"In this context, it would be unadvisable to comment on the possible impact of a third state's unilateral measures on our cooperation with Iran," he said.