Russia says West's sanctions create a 'problem' for Iran nuclear deal

Russia demanded that its trade, investment and military cooperation with Iran would not be hindered by US sanctions.

 Ukrainian and Russian flags are seen on a table before the talks between officials of the two countries in the Brest region, Belarus March 3, 2022 (photo credit: VIA REUTERS)
Ukrainian and Russian flags are seen on a table before the talks between officials of the two countries in the Brest region, Belarus March 3, 2022
(photo credit: VIA REUTERS)

Russia's demand for written guarantees from the United States that sanctions on Moscow would not damage its cooperation with Iran is "not constructive" for talks between Tehran and global powers to revive a 2015 nuclear deal, a senior Iranian official told Reuters on Saturday.

"Russians had put this demand on table since two days ago. There is an understanding that by changing its position in Vienna talks Russia wants to secure its interests in other places. This move is not constructive for Vienna nuclear talks," said the official in Tehran.

Russia said on Saturday that Western sanctions imposed over the conflict in Ukraine had become a stumbling block for the Iran nuclear deal, warning that West that Russian national interests would have to be taken into account.

Iran said on Saturday it had agreed on a roadmap with the UN nuclear watchdog to resolve all outstanding questions about the country's nuclear program by late June, a move seen as the latest push to revive Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal with global powers.

But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the sanctions on Russia had created a "problem" from Moscow's perspective.

"It would have all been fine, but that avalanche of aggressive sanctions that have erupted from the West - and which I understand has not yet stopped - demand additional understanding by lawyers above all," Lavrov said.

Lavrov said Russia wanted a written guarantee from the United States that Russia's trade, investment and military-technical cooperation with Iran would not be hindered in any way by the sanctions.

IRANIAN FOREIGN Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attend a news conference in Moscow in 2019. (credit: EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA/REUTERS)IRANIAN FOREIGN Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attend a news conference in Moscow in 2019. (credit: EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA/REUTERS)

"We want an answer - a very clear answer - we need a guarantee that these sanctions will not in any way touch the regime of trade-economic and investment relations which is laid down in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action," Lavrov said.

Lavrov said that under the deal, Russia and China would be allowed to help Iran develop its civilian nuclear programs in accordance with non-proliferation rules. Sanctions would not be able to affect those projects, Lavrov said.

"There are still several topics which our Iranian colleagues want more clarity on and we consider those are fair demands," Lavrov said.

"We have asked for a written guarantee ... that the current process triggered by the United States does not in any way damage our right to free and full trade, economic and investment cooperation and military-technical cooperation with the Islamic Republic."