Lavrov Chides U.S., North Korea For 'Unacceptable' Rhetoric, Urges Both To Step Back
RFE/RL September 22, 2017
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said he believes an exchange of insults and threats between the United States and North Korea is "unacceptable" and both sides need to take a step back.
"They've started a scuffle just like children in a kindergarten, and no one can stop them," Lavrov told a press conference following a session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 22.
"It's necessary to cool the hotheads. After all, it has to be understood that there is a need for a pause and for some contacts," he added.
Lavrov also tied the situation in North Korea to threats by the United States to pull out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, saying withdrawal "would send the wrong message" to Pyongyang.
In comments that suggested the United States could withdraw from the deal unless changes are made, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on September 20 that the administration of President Donald Trump is particularly concerned about the deal's "sunset" clauses.
Those clauses allow restrictions put on Iranian nuclear activities such as uranium enrichment in exchange for sanctions relief to expire after 10 years in 2025.
The deal stipulates that Tehran must significantly curtail its nuclear activities in exchange for relief from years of punishing economic sanctions.
"If the United States withdraws from the deal in this situation and brings back the unilateral sanctions against Iran that it lifted under this deal two years ago, this would be the absolutely wrong message to North Korea," Lavrov said.
Iran has said it would not be the first to violate the landmark nuclear deal, but that it would respond "decisively and resolutely" to a violation of the pact "by any party."
The nuclear accord, signed by Russia, the United States, Germany, China, Iran, and Britain, was originally negotiated during former U.S. President Barack Obama's second term in office.
In his September 19 address to the UN General Assembly, Trump referred to the 2015 agreement as "one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the U.S. has ever entered. He said it was an "embarrassment to the U.S."
With reporting by Reuters, TASS, and Interfax
Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/lavrov-u-s-unacceptable- rhetoric-north-korea/28751687.html
Copyright (c) 2017. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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