US must revise sanctions policy against Iran: Russia

Russia has "resolutely" condemned a recent "destructive" move by the United States to impose a new wave of sanctions on Iran, urging Washington to immediately review its policy of sanctions pressure against Tehran.
Publish date : Sunday 4 November 2018 09:20
Code: 374159

"We reject any unilateral sanctions bypassing (United Nations Security Council) UNSC decisions, especially when they are applied extra-territorially and concern the interests of third countries, as is the case with US restrictions against Iran," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation said in a statement on Saturday.

"If Washington, as it claims, is indeed interested in negotiations with Tehran, the policy of sanctions pressure aimed at diminishing Iran’s economic and defense potential as well as undermining the internal political situation there must be revised immediately," it added.
By using pressure, it will be “impossible to reach concessions” with Iran, it noted.

The statement came after the US Treasury Department announced all sanctions on Iran lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), would be back in force on November 5.

According to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the sweeping sanctions will see 700 people blacklisted, including people who were granted relief under the JCPOA, as well as over 300 new names.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Mnuchin said the Belgian-based SWIFT global payment network could be hit with American sanctions if it deals with Iranian financial institutions that Washington had blacklisted.

"SWIFT is no different than any other entity. We have advised SWIFT that it must disconnect any Iranian financial institutions that we designate as soon as technologically feasible to avoid sanctions exposure," he added.

The White House also said it was "the toughest sanctions regime ever imposed" on Tehran. It targets both Iran and states that trade with it.

However, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday that Washington would allow eight countries to continue importing Iranian oil but only at much lower levels after the re-imposition of sanctions.

The Russian Foreign Ministry's statement further said the fresh anti-Iran sanctions were aimed at undermining the consistent efforts taken by parties to the JCPOA to preserve the agreement after the US withdrawal in May.

It expressed "deep disappointment and increasing concern" over US attempts to demolish the international legal instruments of nuclear non-proliferation and arms control and warned of the "deteriorating" security situation in the world.

"The United States has now dealt another powerful blow to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, bringing it closer to collapse while hypocritically talking about the need to strengthen it," the statement read.

It said the JCPOA had proved to be effective and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had regularly confirmed Iran's compliance with its obligations under the nuclear agreement.

"The verification and control measures provided for in the Action Plan are applied in full. This in itself is reliable proof of the peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program,” it added.