Tue | Feb 20, 2018

Russia slams US demands for Iran; Germany seeks more detail

Published:Tuesday | January 16, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks during his annual roundup news conference summing up his ministry's work in 2017, in Moscow, Russia, yesterday.

MOSCOW (AP):

Russia spoke out strongly yesterday against the US push for modifying a nuclear agreement with Iran, while Germany said it would seek more detail on what the US wants and analyse the situation with its European partners.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that Moscow won't support the US demand for changes in the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers that saw Iran accepting curbs on its nuclear programme in exchange for lifting international sanctions.

President Donald Trump on Friday kept the accord alive by extending sanctions waivers, but warned that the US would pull out of the deal in a few months unless "terrible flaws" in the deal are fixed.

Lavrov called the new US demands to Iran "deplorable", saying they raise doubts about Washington's ability to observe international agreements.

He particularly noted that the dismantling of the Iran nuclear deal would discourage North Korea from negotiating any future agreement to abandon its nuclear and missile programmes.

"We will not support what the US is trying to do to change the text of the agreement to include things, which are absolutely unacceptable for Iran," Lavrov said at a news conference in Moscow.

Trump said he would work with European allies to remove so-called sunset clauses that allow Iran to gradually resume advanced nuclear activities in the next decade. He paired Friday's concession with other targeted sanctions on Iran for human rights abuses and ballistic-missile development.

Iran warned on Saturday that it won't accept any changes to the nuclear deal. The Europeans have indicated that they are willing to discuss the matter with Washington, but have shown little enthusiasm with Trump's hard line.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, stressed yesterday that Berlin stands by the nuclear deal. He said that Germany would analyse the situation with its European partners.

The 2015 nuclear pact with Iran involved the US, Britain, France, Germany, China, and Russia.