Exclusive: US Sanctions against Tehran, Moscow ‘Pure Unilateralism’, Ryabkov Says
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov described the US sanctions against Iran and Russia as “pure unilateralism” aimed at imposing Washington’s hegemonic policies on sovereign states.
“Well, there is no secret in the fact that the European Foreign Service has indeed circulated the letter you referred to and that is the usual practice. And that was the meaning, I believe, in Minister Zarif’s decision to send this letter to Ms. Mogherini in a manner so that it will be further circulated to the others at the group. We studied this letter with great attention and sympathy. I will tell you towards the sentiments expressed in the letter by his Excellency foreign minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Ryabkov told the Tasnim news agency referring to a letter recently sent to the European Union Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini by Iranian Foregin Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on the implementation of the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.
It came after the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on May 25 approved a bill to impose new sanctions on Iran over its missile program.
“Because we agree, basically, with the Iranian point that the US not only underperforms during the whole period of the JCPOA implementation, but we believe and see signs of US acting in contravening the requirements of the JCPOA. That is an action or lack of action that constitutes what I describe non-compliance with the requirements of the JCPOA,” he added.
“We see a continuous policy of deterrence on the part of the US towards economic and financial operators around the globe which means that those operators are either precluded from normal and positive cooperation with Iranian counterparts or they are frightened by the possible negative consequences of doing such business with Iranian counterparts just because the US controls that much of the international financial and banking system and would be able, in a given situation, to punish these operators for what we and the Iranian side believe are fully logical and legitimate transactional cooperative relationship.”
“This is one thing. Another one is that the US side has already, on three occasions, expanded its own sanctions list towards persons, even more importantly, towards entities from Iran and third countries for so-called cooperation with Iranian side on the Iranian missile program. This is yet another sign of the US not being able to find alternatives to the very wrong, failed and illogical policy of unilateral sanctioning of others, including Russia, including Iran for something that those countries are doing in their full rights, for something that the US simply does not like. This is pure unilateralism in attempt to apply hegemonic policies towards independent nations. Those two things primarily and principally, in my view, run counter to the requirements of the JCPOA and this is quite disturbing and we are making these points known to the US side at all levels. We warn the United States against further attempts to impose its own political will on Iran and others and that is to put the whole JCPOA construction into question,” the top Russian diplomat said.
“Having said that I will also say that, apart from these quite concerning activities of the US or unwillingness of Washington DC to change to the better...,” Ryabkov said, adding that it seems Washington has no plan to end its “so-called Iranian policy review where the JCPOA has been put into a broader context of so-called regional situation and we know what it means in US terms. This is an attempt to once again re-balance a very fragile situation, as we know this around the Persian Gulf and also to bring this into the context of all sorts of accusations against some particular aspects of the Iranian domestic or foreign policies. This is very troubling and disturbing moment in time since we do not know when this Iranian policy review would be over in the US. It may well happen before the end of the year; it may well continue into the full and it means that the rest of the world is taken hostage by the US policy review. It is not a sustainable situation. We want the US to complete this effort in a way that would reinforce the JCPOA and bring more certainty into this whole situation and, first and foremost, that would mean a full and complete recognition of the Iranian sovereign legitimate rights….”
“…we are on the same wavelength with Iranian friends…I think it is a well-developed practice and a well-developed routine in the positive sense of the world how we work together with Iranian counterparts. We have done so all along during the talks and we continue it now in the course of JCPOA implementation. In terms of practical action, I think it is a little bit premature to talk on this. We need to see how others react, if they react, and what they will bring to the table at the next joint commission meeting. We will hear what the US will say, (and) equally, what the Europeans will say. We are hopeful that the European policies will be more those of reason, logic and mutual interest rather than ideology and failed policies of the past. But we will see we are in close touch and in good contact with Iranian side as well as the others at the group, the Chinese and others and this is the normal diplomatic work, diplomatic process and we intend to continue it as I have described.”
Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) reached the 159-page nuclear agreement, also known the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in July 2015 and implemented it in January 2016.
Watch the full interview below. Its different parts are split into fourteen sections: