Iran nuclear deal

Moscow seeks US guarantees before backing Iran nuclear deal: Lavrov

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday that Moscow is demanding guarantees from the US before backing the Iran nuclear deal, citing the current wave of Western sanctions against Russia.

“It would have all been fine, but that avalanche of aggressive sanctions that have erupted from the West - and which I understand has not yet stopped - demand additional understanding by lawyers above all,” Lavrov said.

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Lavrov said Russia wanted a written guarantee from the United States that Russia’s trade, investment and military-technical cooperation with Iran would not be hindered in any way by the sanctions.

“We want an answer - a very clear answer - we need a guarantee that these sanctions will not in any way touch the regime of trade-economic and investment relations which is laid down in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” Lavrov said.

Lavrov said that under the deal, Russia and China would be allowed to help Iran develop its civilian nuclear programs in accordance with non-proliferation rules. Sanctions would not be able to affect those projects, Lavrov said.

“There are still several topics which our Iranian colleagues want more clarity on and we consider those are fair demands,” Lavrov said.

“We have asked for a written guarantee ... that the current process triggered by the United States does not in any way damage our right to free and full trade, economic and investment cooperation and military-technical cooperation with the Islamic Republic.”

Earlier on Saturday, Iran said it had agreed a roadmap with the UN nuclear watchdog to resolve all outstanding questions about the country’s nuclear program by late June, a move seen as a latest push to revive Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with global powers.

The announcement comes as all parties involved in indirect talks between Tehran and Washington aimed at reviving the nuclear pact have said they were close to reaching an agreement in Vienna.

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