- The Washington Times - Monday, May 14, 2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin has told the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that despite the recent U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, Moscow remains ready to enforce the agreement.

“As far as Iran is concerned, the president reaffirmed Russia’s readiness to continue fulfilling the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) regardless of the United States’ decision to withdraw from it,” Putin presidential aide Yury Ushakov said on Monday, according to the Russian State news agency Tass.

Mr. Ushakov spoke after Mr. Putin and IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano met in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi. He added that the IAEA confirmed that as of now, “Iran continues to fully implement its obligations under the JCPOA.”

Last week, President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the landmark 2015 nuclear accord and restored harsh sanctions against Iran.

The agreement — which was negotiated by the Obama administration and included Russia, China, Germany, France and Britain — had lifted most U.S. and international economic sanctions against Iran.



In exchange, Tehran agreed to restrictions on its nuclear program and subjected itself to rigorous inspections.

Mr. Trump’s decision has been seen as the most consequential foreign policy decision of his administration as it went against the wishes of all other countries involved in the deal.

Meanwhile, Iran’s foreign minister continued a desperate diplomatic tour he launched last week to keep the agreement alive.

Over the weekend, Mohammad Javad Zarif visited Beijing and was scheduled to visit Moscow later Monday to meet his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, according to Iran’s foreign ministry.

Iranian officials have announced they are prepared to resume “industrial-scale” uranium enrichment “without any restrictions” unless European leaders can provide solid guarantees that it can maintain trade ties despite renewed U.S. sanctions.

European leaders, who aggressively lobbied Mr. Trump not to leave the agreement, are set to visit Russia soon to discuss a way forward. German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with Mr. Putin in Sochi on Friday, while French President Emmanuel Macron is scheduled to be in Saint Petersburg later this month.

On Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington still wants to work with Europe to counter Iran’s “malign behavior.”

• This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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