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Senior Russian diplomat to take part in Vienna meeting on Iran nuclear deal

MOSCOW, February 24. /TASS/. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told TASS that he would represent Russia at a meeting of the joint commission on the Iran nuclear program at the level of political directors in Vienna on February 26.

“I will take part in the Vienna meeting,” Ryabkov said.

Earlier, the European Union’s External Action Service reported that the meeting of the parties to the nuclear deal (Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany, China and France) with Iran would be held on February 26 in Vienna.

Tensions over Iran’s nuclear program exacerbated after Washington unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA on May 8, 2018 and slapped US economic sanctions on Iran’s oil exports. On May 8, 2019, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Tehran was suspending the fulfilment of its part of the nuclear deal obligations. According to the Iranian side, the parties to the deal, particularly the Europeans, are not fully honoring their economic obligations and, therefore, the JCPOA in its current form is meaningless. Tehran continued to scale back on its commitments to the deal throughout 2019.

On January 5, Iran announced that it would no longer abide by restrictions set by the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear program. Tehran’s latest move means that Iran will no longer honor the JCPOA-set limitations on the number of centrifuges required to enrich uranium. On January 14, France, Germany and the United Kingdom declared that they had triggered the dispute resolution mechanism in the JCPOA, justifying the move by saying that Iran’s actions left them no other choice. Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said the European countries had not yet used this mechanism.

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