Washington is trying to force Iran to abandon the nuclear deal and push the EU towards reimposing sanctions. It will not maintain genuine dialogue with Tehran, Chairman of the Russian State Duma’s (lower house) Foreign Affairs Committee Leonid Slutsky said on his Telegram channel on Friday commenting on remarks by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani about the third stage of scaling down Tehran’s commitments under the deal.
According to Slutsky, that was "a response to new US anti-Iranian sanctions and the EU’s inability to launch the promised financial mechanism to bypass them and compensate for losses from Washington’s policy to reduce Iranian oil exports to zero," TASS reports.
"The United States is pursuing an obvious objective: to force Iran to abandon the nuclear deal altogether and therefore push Europeans towards restoring the anti-Iranian package of restrictive measures under US control. The White House hopes to achieve a regime change in Tehran by reimposing the US and EU sanctions, strengthening Iran’s political isolation and whipping up tensions in the Persian Gulf region in general," he stressed.
Slutsky is certain that Washington’s statements regarding its willingness to maintain a direct dialogue should not be taken seriously. "Unlike North Korea, Iran has neither nuclear weapons nor missiles capable of reaching US territory. So, the only direct dialogue with Tehran that Washington could foster is unconditional surrender [under the US scenario]," he explained.
According to Slutsky, Iran has so far been pursuing a fairly cautious policy. "Exactly one year passed since the United States’ unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA [the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — TASS] before the Islamic Republic announced it would scale down its commitments. Each such reduction is a response to new American sanctions," he recalled, adding that progress at the talks between Tehran and European partners was still possible.
"Russia has always been commited to the implementation of the JCPOA by all parties. For our part, we will push ahead with efforts to preserve the Iran deal at various levels, including the parliamentary one, and draft a working mechanism to salvage it," Slutsky concluded.
On Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Tehran would begin the third stage of scaling down its obligations under the nuclear accord on September 6. According to Rouhani, Tehran will abandon compliance with restrictions on nuclear research envisaged by the deal.