TEHRAN (Iran News) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has condemned the European Union for imposing sanctions on Iran at a time when Tehran and the signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal are engaged in a diplomatic process in Vienna to save the troubled agreement.
Speaking after talks in Tehran with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javaz Zarif, on Tuesday, Lavrov said the European sanctions could undermine the negotiations in the Austrian capital to revitalize the nuclear deal in the Austrian capital.
“We expect that it will be possible to preserve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA),” said the top Russian diplomat, adding, “As far as we understand, our partners in Tehran have expressed their readiness to immediately move in that direction” if Washington returns to compliance with the deal it abandoned.
However, he added, the latest EU sanctions gave rise to “a huge amount of questions.”
“If there is any kind of coordination lacking in the EU and the right hand is not aware of what the left hand is doing, that’s simply unfortunate,” Lavrov said. “But if this decision has been deliberately taken amid the talks continuing in Vienna to rescue the JCPOA then it is not just unfortunate — this is a mistake that is worse than a crime.”
“I hope our European colleagues understand that such actions are unacceptable and will take measures not to allow the talks to be derailed,” the top diplomat added.
Zarif, for his part, lashed out at the Europeans imposing sanctions on Iran instead of condemning America’s economic terrorism against 82 million Iranians and Sunday’s incident at Natanz nuclear facility.
The sanctions, he added, only make the world realize that the EU “has no status [of its own] in the world, and that it is not only a follower of American policies, but also a follower of the most extremist groups in the United States and the Zionist regime.”
“This is a reason for Europe to be ashamed. It is definitely a destructive action and we will definitely respond to this action,” the top Iranian diplomat said.
Zarif advised the Europeans to “think about their dignity. Europe should know that it is not in a superior moral position. Europe cannot preach to the world. A Europe, where xenophobia and anti-Islamism have created terrible conditions for Muslims, has neither the reputation nor the position to sanction the Iranian authorities.”
Elsewhere in his remarks, Zarif said that what happened at Natanz nuclear facility was “a terrorist stupidity” aimed at undermining Iran’s leverage in the talks on the JCPOA’s revival.
“I assure you that in the near future, Natanz will definitely move forward with more advanced and powerful centrifuges. If the Israelis thought that they could stop Iran from following up on the removal of sanctions imposed on the Iranian people, then they made a very bad gamble,” he noted.
The Iranian foreign minister also warned that Israel will receive a response if Iran’s investigations hold the regime responsible for the Natanz incident.
He further urged the U.S. to understand that sanctions cannot serve as a means of getting concessions.
Earlier Foreign ministers of Iran and Russia signed Tuesday an agreement on cultural cooperation and setting up cultural center.
The two foreign ministers also set framework for activities of the cultural centers.
Meanwhile later, President Hassan Rouhani in the meeting with Lavrov that letting the Zionist regime as a destabilizing tension-creating element into the Persian Gulf region is a dangerous move.
Stressing the necessity to counter US unilateralism through expansion of regional cooperation, President Rouhani welcomed the cooperation with the goal of helping the establishment of peace and stability in the region as a strategic move against US unilateralism and interference in regional countries affairs.
Saying that the security, peace, and stability of the region should be provided by the regional countries, the Iranian president stressed Iran-Russia defense and military cooperation, with regard to the termination of Iran’s arms embargo in October 2020.
Referring to good relation between Tehran and Moscow in political and regional fields, Rouhani stressed strengthening economic relations and acceleration and implementation of joint projects in oil, energy, and transportation, as well as cooperation for building two nuclear power plants in Bushehr.
He also referred to Russia’s success in making the COVID-19 vaccine and called for faster shipment of the vaccine to Iran and the launching of a production line in Iran.
Russian foreign minister said in the meeting that there is no limitation for the expansion of relations between Tehran and Moscow, including defense and technology.
Lavrov said that Iran and Russia have common and close goals about international and regional cooperation.