Photo Credit: Mohammad Hassanzadeh via Wikimedia
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov

The danger that military tensions in the Middle East will mount after the US decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal is growing, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the Moscow-based think tank Valdai International Discussion Club Tuesday.

“It is most important to point out that certain elements of Iran’s policy in the region, and also its missile program, have aroused the resentment of the United States and its allies,” Ryabkov said.


Indeed, the major reasons for the US withdrawal from the JCPOA on the Iranian nuclear program are not linked to the agreement itself, but to Washington’s approach to Tehran’s policy in the Middle East, Ryabkov said.

“We believe that this occurred mainly due to the reasons, which are not tied to the JCPOA, and frankly speaking, the US representatives are not hiding this,” Ryabkov said.

“We don’t want the US pullout from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to become a prelude for a further spike in military tensions in the Middle East, although the danger of this is evident,” Ryabkov said, adding, “This danger followed the US decision and what happened then is growing, according to our assessments.”

Moscow considers it possible to preserve the Iran nuclear deal with sufficient political will of its participants and despite the US’ withdrawal. “We need to determine parameters for work within the JCPOA without the US,” Ryabkov noted. “We believe that it is possible both in theory and in practice. Much depends on the politicians’ will, chiefly in the European countries.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry believes that the United States will not revise its decision to pull out of the Iranian nuclear deal. “The Foreign Ministry believes the US will not change its mind. President Donald Trump will translate into reality what he said on May 8,” Ryabkov said.

Russia will comply with its liabilities within framework of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action regarding the Iranian nuclear program to reconfigure the Fordow enrichment facility. “Russia will comply with its obligations under the JCPOA to the full. The same concerns the reconfiguration of the Fordow enrichment facility – to the extent the other partakers will adhere to the agreement,” he said.