US pressure campaign meant to blackmail Iran: Russia
Iran Press TV
Thu May 30, 2019 07:32AM
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov says the US is exerting pressure on Iran in a bid to "blackmail" the country, adding that Washington does not seem to be sincere in its offer to engage in dialog with Tehran.
In an interview with Russia's Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily released on Wednesday, Ryabkov complained that the US was just stepping up its pressure campaign against Iran without providing "alternative options" for the Islamic Republic.
"We can see the severe pressure on the part of the United States toward Iran and the attempts to blackmail this country," he said. "At the same time, there is no positive agenda and the United States is not suggesting any alternative options. It only declares, including on the high level, that it is open for dialogue. But it is not a basis for real talks."
If the US was willing to hold talks with Iran, it should make suggestions on what it was ready to offer Iran in exchange for the discussions, he added.
Last year, US President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled his country out of the 2015 nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and unleashed the "toughest ever" sanctions against Tehran, notably targeting its key oil exports.
Recently, Washington beefed up its military presence in the Persian Gulf, citing alleged and unspecified threats posed by the Islamic Republic to American troops and interests.
On May 8, the first anniversary of Washington's exit from the JCPOA, The Islamic Republic announced its decision to stop exporting excess uranium and heavy water for a 60-day period, during which the remaining signatories would have to honor their promises and ensure that is no more deprived of the economic benefits it was promised under the agreement.
Elsewhere in his interview, Ryabkov warned against the consequences of Tehran's strengthening intentions to withdraw from the JCPOA.
"This may pave the way for a collapse of the JCPOA and the emergence of a chaotic situation, in which risks of a military confrontation would further increase," he said.
On Wednesday, the Russian official met with Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi in Tehran to discuss the fate of the nuclear accord.
Following the meeting, Ryabkov said that Tehran would undoubtedly take new steps to suspend its commitments under the JCPOA unless the deal's balance is restored.
"Amid a lack of progress on how to restore a balance inside the JCPOA, Iran's next steps will become inevitable. We have no doubt about that," he told Russia's TASS news agency.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|