The United States will not sanction Russian participation in nuclear projects in Iran under a revived nuclear deal, but would not allow Russia to use the deal as an "escape hatch" to evade Ukraine-related sanctions, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Tuesday.
Talks in Vienna were paused last week, but Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdoulahian and said earlier on Tuesday that U.S. suggestions that Moscow was blocking efforts to revive the 2015 deal were untrue.
Moscow is in favor of the Iran nuclear deal resuming as soon as possible, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday, and is waiting for Washington to lift sanctions on Tehran.
Russia demands that it be allowed to continue to trade with Iran despite Western sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. Lavrov said Russia had received written assurances from Washington that sanctions against Moscow over Ukraine would not hinder cooperation within the framework of the deal.
European powers have warned that Russia's demands to have its trade guaranteed with Iran could wreck an attempt to restore the Iranian nuclear deal which lifted sanctions on Tehran in return for curbs on its nuclear program.
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Following talks with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Moscow, Lavrov said during a press conference that U.S. suggestions that Moscow was blocking efforts to revive the Iran nuclear deal were untrue.
Amir-Abdollahian said at the press conference that there is no link between current events in Ukraine and nuclear talks in Vienna. He added that Russia will stand by Iran's side until the end of nuclear talks.
He added that he had invited Lavrov to visit Iran soon.
The text for the deal is largely completed, but the Russian demand forced world powers to pause negotiations for an undetermined time. Iran said on Monday that it expects negotiations on the nuclear accord to resume shortly in Vienna despite Russian demands that they be suspended.
The talks, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh, said, are on a short recess and not deadlocked. The purpose of the recess is to come to additional understandings, he explained, and the talks are in their “final crucial steps,” which he said are the most difficult in negotiations of this kind.