Putin Backs Macron’s Initiative to Save Iran Nuclear Deal
By Staff, Agencies
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow is aware of French President Emmanuel Macron's initiative to save the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, noting that Russian President Vladimir Putin, has already met the French head of state and given him his full support.
Reports emerged this week that Macron's plan, which he discussed in detail with US President Donald Trump and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in separate meetings, included a "softening" of economic sanctions against Tehran in exchange for some liabilities.
Speaking to reporters at a press conference on Wednesday, Lavrov confirmed that Macron had also filled Putin in on his plan during at an extraordinary Russian-French summit at Fort de Bragnacon a week ago.
"President Putin supported President Macron’s proposal aimed at restoring the viability of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and all the agreements enshrined in it," he said, referring to the deal, which was signed between Iran and six world powers -- the US, the UK, France, China, Russia and Germany -- in 2015.
"Such steps will certainly be successful, if they are acceptable to all the parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, including the Islamic Republic of Iran," Lavrov said without giving away any details of Macron's plan.
The initiative, according to a Saturday report by Bloomberg, will allow Iran to sell certain amounts of oil in exchange for fully implementing the JCPOA.
After leaving the deal in May 2018, Trump launched a "maximum pressure" campaign to force Tehran into renegotiating a new deal that met his demands: ending Iran's missile program and rolling back its regional influence.
Iran has reduced some of its commitments under the deal over the past few weeks after running out of patience with the UK, France and Germany, which have failed to take practical steps in protecting trade with Iran in the wake of US sanctions.
Tehran's measures include enriching uranium beyond the 3.67-percent cap set in the JCPOA and stockpiling enriched uranium beyond the deal's 300-kilogram limit. Tehran has warned Europeans that a third phase will see even more serious steps.
Iran says its reciprocal measures will be reversible as soon as Europe finds practical ways to shield the Iranian economy from unilateral US sanctions, which were imposed last year when President Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal.