Russia has cautioned Iran against withdrawing from the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told Rossiyaskaya Gazeta daily after Tehran consultations on the nuclear deal.
"We also cautioned the Iranian side against withdrawing from the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which would represent a qualitatively new step in the direction of destabilization," Ryabkov said. "This would have undermined the basis of the international system of nuclear non-proliferation," he added.
He noted that Russia's position on Iran includes cautioning against reckless steps on phasing out the nuclear deal. "At the beginning of July the 60-day term expires for temporarily suspending the first part of Iran's commitments in the framework of the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action]," Ryabkov said. "It looks like in the absence of solutions, the second part will follow," he added. "Russia's position includes an element of cautioning Iranians from reckless steps," TASS quoted him as saying.
The diplomat said that at the same time, Russia understand Iran's plans to start enriching uranium above 3.67% and suspend the Arak modernization project if other parties in the nuclear deal do not return to its implementation in 60 days starting from May 8. "We understand these decisions," Ryabkov said. "The JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] contains conditions in Article 26 and 36 that Iran assumed those commitments voluntarily," he added. "In our opinion, everything that Iran is doing now is in line with the agreement, in line with its conditions," he noted.
On 8 May 2018 the US withdrew from JCPOA and imposed economic sanctions on Iran, targeting Tehran's oil imports. One year later, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Tehran temporarily suspends implementing its commitments on the nuclear deal and gives other parties six months to return to fulfilling the agreement.