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EghtesadOnline: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday expressed support for France's efforts to defuse tensions over Iran's nuclear program, stressing that Tehran's decision to reduce its compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal is understandable.

French President Emmanuel Macron's efforts toward saving Tehran's nuclear agreement with world powers are "commendable" and are supported by Moscow, Russia's top diplomat said during a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, in Moscow, according to a live broadcast by RT. 

Since the United States pulled out of the pact last year, the European signatories—France, Britain and Germany—have been trying to convince Iran to remain compliant by promising to shield its economic interests from US sanctions.

Tehran has scaled back some of its nuclear commitments and vowed to take further steps by Sept. 6, such as enriching to 20% or restarting mothballed centrifuges to enrich uranium, according to Financial Tribune.

According to Ali Motahari, a prominent lawmaker, the initiative of France to save the agreement includes a $15 billion credit line to Iran for oil "pre-purchases".

The Russian foreign minister said the nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, should be implemented "without any additions and exemptions", as it has been endorsed by the UN Security Council.



Missile Program

Lavrov noted that any other issue, such as Iran's ballistic missile program, should be discussed separately and criticized US attempts to "provoke" the Islamic Republic. 

It is understandable that Iran has to take measures in the face of other parties' failure to fulfill their obligations, he added, stressing that regional tensions should be resolved through "dialogue" based on mutual respect. 

Zarif said Iran will revert back to full compliance with the accord, when the Europeans "fully comply" with it but will take the next nuclear steps if its demands are not met. 

He hailed Russia and China as Iran's "strategic partners" and said Tehran and Moscow are enjoying their "best" relations in decades. 

On the situation in Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan, the Iranian foreign minister said all regional issues should be discussed by the countries in the region and without foreign interference.

He also noted that Iran is always ready for dialogue and cooperation with regional countries, including Saudi Arabia, if they are also ready to do so. 



Renegotiation of Nuclear Deal 

During his meeting with Lavrov earlier on Monday, Zarif had ruled out the possibility of renegotiating the nuclear agreement as demanded by Washington. 

"It is impossible to open this Pandora's box and close it again," Zarif was quoted as saying by Sputnik.

He also praised Moscow and Beijing for continuing their cooperation with Iran, fulfilling their obligations under the nuclear agreement and making efforts to preserve it. 

"The nature of our relations with Russia and China is different from our relations with the ... other participants of JCPOA because we believe that Iran, Russia and China have never stopped cooperating ... So we consider Russia and China as partners that have ... held strong positions and who contribute to the continued survival of JCPOA," Zarif said.


Iran Russia nuclear program Sergey Lavrov nuclear deal Emmanuel Macron Compliance Save French Efforts