Russia says Iran has no atomic weapons, calls on world support to save nuclear deal

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MOSCOW – Russia expects Iran to have no nuclear weapons at present and in the future, and the necessary control and verification mechanisms have already been set up for this, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Saturday.

“Iran has no nuclear weapons, and we hope it never has. To this end, the international community has created a reliable international legal safety net and the necessary inspection mechanisms,” Ryabkov told the International Conference on Nonproliferation in Moscow.

The Russian official also commented that attempts to prevent Iran from developing a peaceful nuclear program are mere “dreams”.

“It is clear that some would like Tehran to have no nuclear program, but these are dark dreams, which are in complete contradiction to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT),” he continued.

The NPT was signed on July 1, 1968 and entered into force in March 1970. It is the most widely signed in the nuclear arms control agreement, with 190 states as signatories. So far, several nuclear-weapon countries such as India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan have refused to sign the pact.

This week Tehran took another step on its commitments not to develop its nuclear program when it said it had begun to inject uranium gas into centrifuges in an underground facility.

The United States is concerned that Iran wants to cut down on “escape” time, which is the time it takes to accumulate enough nuclear material to build a bomb , something Tehran has repeatedly said is not its intention.

‘JCPOA Death’

Attending the meeting in Moscow, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araghchi stressed that Tehran today reverses its obligations under the 2015 nuclear agreement to preserve rather than destroy it, with the relevant law stipulated in the document itself.

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“Iran […] reduces JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Action Plan] commitments based on paragraph 36 of this agreement. In fact, we are exercising our right to save the business and protect the business, not to kill That’s why we have given enough space, two months between each step, for diplomacy to continue,” he said.

Paragraph 36 stipulates that a signatory to the agreement may terminate its commitments “in whole or in part” if an issue that it considers to constitute “significant nonperformance” is not yet resolved as a result of the procedures described in the agreement.

Tehran began to gradually reduce its nuclear obligations on the first anniversary of the unilateral US withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran on May 8. Earlier this week, Iran embarked on the fourth stage of reducing its commitments. According to Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Iran plans to enrich uranium to 4.5 percent at the Fordow nuclear facility.

Iran has repeatedly emphasized its willingness to reverse these measures if the European signatories to the agreement guarantee the country’s first and foremost economic interests amid sanctions reinstated by Washington.

For Araghchi, the nuclear deal could collapse completely well before the 2020 US presidential election if no solution is found in a matter of months.

“Elections in the US or Iran have no place in our calculations when it comes to our national interests and national security. In fact, we are exercising our policies regardless of who will be elected in the next US presidential election,” he said.

He warned that the most negative scenario could arise even before the US vote.

“If you are unable to find a solution to the JCPOA and a current crisis that we are facing in the coming months, I think we will soon end the JCPOA, even months before the US elections,” he added.

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