Iran nuclear deal

New Russian demands over Ukraine sanctions threaten Iran nuclear deal: Report

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New demands by Russia announced on Saturday are threatening to derail efforts to salvage the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the Wall Street Journal reported, as Moscow said it wanted guarantees from the US that Ukraine-related sanctions would not damage its cooperation with Iran after the deal is revived.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday Russia wanted a written guarantee from the US that Moscow’s trade, investment and military-technical cooperation with Iran would not be hindered in any way by sanctions recently imposed on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

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“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 nuclear deal, Lavrov said.

The announcement comes as diplomats involved in talks between Iran and world powers aimed at reviving the 2015 deal have said they were close to reaching an agreement.

“The last-minute demand from Russia could make it impossible to complete a return to the 2015 nuclear deal in time,” the Wall Street Journal cited a senior Western diplomat as saying.

The new Russian demand is “not constructive” for the ongoing nuclear negotiations in Vienna, Reuters cited a senior Iranian official as saying.

Talks between the remaining signatories to the deal – Iran, Russia, China, France, Germany and Britain – have been taking place in Vienna.

The US is participating indirectly in the talks due to Iran’s refusal to negotiate directly with Washington.

The Vienna talks, which began in April 2021, aim to bring Iran back into compliance with the deal and facilitate a US return to the agreement. The deal offered Iran sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.

Washington withdrew from the deal in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump, reimposing sweeping economic sanctions on Tehran. That prompted Iran to retaliate by breaching many of the deal’s restrictions, which were designed to make it harder for Tehran to obtain the fissile material for a nuclear bomb.

Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.

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