'Tehran, Moscow used to US sanctions, aimed at boosting ties'

TEHRAN, Jul. 13 (MNA) – Russian Ambassador to Iran Levan Jagarian said Russia and Iran have gotten used to the US sanctions and are ready to deepen mutual economic cooperation.

In an interview with Tasnim on the fifth anniversary of the achievement of the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, the Russian ambassador said the US is not after negotiations with Iran but wants to impose its own conditions.

“They (Americans) only pursue their own agenda. They don’t even want to hold talks and only say ‘either accept our conditions or face sanctions.’ Unfortunately, they do not understand any other word,” Jagarian added.

He also said that the US’ stance on the JCPOA is not going to change, no matter which candidate will win the upcoming US presidential election. “I’m not quite optimistic about whoever there is (at the White House).”

Jagarian further said Russia and Iran have gotten used to the US sanctions, saying, “We have expressed readiness to deepen economic cooperation with Iran.”

The envoy also said the value of Russian exports to Iran during the first five months of 2020 stood at around $700 million, showing a 30 percent rise compared to the corresponding period last year.

Voicing Russia’s readiness to take part in the INSTEX –the financial mechanism that the three European parties to the JCPOA have devised to maintain trade with Iran, Jagarian said Moscow will find ways to continue cooperation with Tehran, with or without INSTEX.

The ambassador called for efforts to remove the obstacles in the way of banking cooperation between Russia and Iran, adding, “The banking problems still exist. Both countries are hit by sanctions, but we must find a solution to settle the artificial problems created by a third country. After all, we are in the same front with you.”

He also voiced Russia’s opposition to the US bid to extend a UN arms embargo on Iran which is going to expire in October, adding, “We will definitely oppose it, and the US has no right to comment about this subject.”

The Russian envoy further criticized the European parties’ inaction on the US breach of the nuclear deal and their mere expression of regret. “We have told the Europeans that ‘you only express regret.’ Expression of regret alone is not enough.”

Russia's Permanent Representative to International Organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov on Monday called the US stance to extend arms embargo on Iran contradictory to its enormous arms sales to the region. 

In a  Monday tweet, Ulyanov wrote, “The #US attempts to make arms #embargo against #Iran indefinite and comprehensive look extremely questionable in the light of US enormous arms supplies to the region."

"Whose policy, in fact, does lead to destabilization of the situation in the Middle East?" he added.

Russia believes that the US pays no attention to the other countries' ideas and imposes unilateral sanctions, so Moscow is worried about the developments regarding Iran and the US’ approach towards Tehran.

MNA/TSN2305344

News Code 160907

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