The Gulf state has been playing a mediating role between Washington and Tehran to restore the nuclear accord.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that there are “no obstacles” in restoring the 2015 accord on Tuesday, following a meeting with his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani’s in Moscow.
Sheikh Mohammed had met with Lavrov on Monday amidst concerns over the impact of Moscow’s invasion of Kyiv on the revival of the nuclear deal.
It’s after talks in Vienna over the restoration of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) were paused on Friday, after Russia demanded guarantees that its trade with Iran would not be impacted by newly imposed US sanctions on Moscow.
The nuclear talks was on the agenda, with Qatar acting as a mediator between the US and Iran in a bid to revive the nuclear deal. The Gulf state repeatedly urged the revival of the JCPOA.
Russia said that it received written guarantees from the US, ensuring that it can continue to be part of the nuclear negotiations along with the remaining parties, known as the P4+1.
They include Russia, China, France, the UK and Germany.
“We have received written guarantees, they are included in the very text of the agreement on reviving the JCPOA, and in these texts there is a reliable defence of all the projects provided for by the JCPOA and those activities – including the linking up of our companies and specialists,” Lavrov said, as quoted by Reuters.
Lavrov’s remarks came during a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amirabdollahian in Moscow. He also denied previous claims that Russia posed an obstacle to the return of the JCPOA.
“I have heard how the Americans have every day tried to accuse us of delaying the agreement, that is a lie. The agreement is not finally approved in several capitals, and the Russian capital, Moscow, is not one of them,” noted Lavrov.
Amirabdollahian also said that “Russia will remain beside” Iran until “a good and sustainable agreement” is reached.
Russia was accused of using the nuclear to avoid newly-imposed US sanctions for its invasion of Ukraine.
“We of course would not sanction Russian participation in nuclear projects that are part of resuming full implementation of the JCPOA. We can’t and we won’t, and we have not provided assurances beyond that to Russia,” said US State Department spokesman Ned Price.
Since the talks in Vienna kicked off in April, 2021, the US has accused Iran of not fulfilling its obligations under the accord, despite Washington unilaterally withdrawing from it in 2018.
The withdrawal came under the former US Donald Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign on Iran. This has contributed to a state of mistrust between the US and Iran.
Iran has long demanded guarantees from the US that it will not back out of the nuclear deal again.
The talks have appeared to move forward since the beginning of this year, with officials saying that a deal is more imminent than ever.
“Nobody should seek to exploit JCPOA negotiations to obtain assurances that are separate to the JCPOA,” said in a joint statement.
On Wednesday, Russia’s envoy at the talks, Mikhail Ulyanov, dismissed speculations over Moscow’s impact on the negotiations.
“It is a disaster! I am tired of speculations regarding the Russian position at the final stage of the Vienna Talks. Misunderstandings, misinterpretations and distortion of realities. The bottom line: conclusion of the agreement depends not on Russia, but on others, especially US,” tweeted Ulyanov.