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Sergey Lavrov
Sergey Lavrov

Russia Denounces Biased US Approach to Iran

“Americans have a proverb ‘if it is not broken—do not repair.’ [The nuclear] agreement is in fact not at all ‘broken’ and it is very effective”

Russia Denounces Biased US Approach to Iran

Russia's foreign minister criticized US President Donald Trump's policy on Iran as "biased", citing his unilateral push for new curbs on the Islamic Republic's ballistic missile program.
"There are other countries in the region with such programs. We must look at it as a whole. It is hardly justified to mix nuclear affairs with human rights and put the issue on the agenda that Iran should stop taking certain steps in the region… to my mind, a frankly discriminatory, biased, and unjustifiably captious approach can be seen behind these US actions," Sergey Lavrov said in an interview Rossiya-1 TV published on the website of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday.
Last month Trump waived sanctions on Iran as required under a US law on the 2015 nuclear deal but said it would be the last time. 
Iran negotiated the pact with the six powers—the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom plus Germany—to get relief from international sanctions in return for accepting temporary curbs on its nuclear development. 
But the multi-sided deal is facing severe attacks from Trump, who blames his predecessor Barack Obama for failing to impose restrictive enough conditions on Iran and address its non-nuclear activities during the negotiations.
In his Jan. 12 announcement, Trump gave the US Congress and the European signatories to the deal four months to find a way to tighten the deal's terms and contain Tehran's missile program and regional influence. 
Lavrov reiterated his side's backing for the nuclear pact in the face of Trump's hostile stance and argued that the UN-endorsed agreement is working, dismissing the US claim to the contrary.
"Americans have a proverb 'if it is not broken—do not repair.' This agreement is in fact not at all 'broken' and it is very effective. But they try to 'fix it,' but beforehand they try to break it. This is bad," Lavrov stressed.

***Coop. on Syria 
Elsewhere, Russian envoy to Tehran pledged continued cooperation with Iran on the Syria war.
"We are pleased with the level of contact between Iran and Russia on Syria, including on how to manage the de-escalation zones," Levan Dzhagaryan said in a talk with TASS news agency published on Monday, as cited by IRNA.
Tehran's advisory missions and Russia's air power have been instrumental in shoring up Syrian President al-Assad in his fight against the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group and a patchwork of insurgent opposition groups seeking his ouster.
The two were joined by Turkey, a member of the US-led coalition involved in the near seven-year war in support of the anti-Assad groups, late last year to initiate a political process aimed at establishing a ceasefire and ultimately negotiating a diplomatic solution to the protracted conflict.
During the fourth round of the talks hosted by the Kazakh capital Astana in May 2016, the trio agreed a plan to establish four de-escalation zones in Syria. 
"Iran and Russia will keep in touch with Turkey as a peace guarantor," Dzhagaryan added.   
Turkey launched an offensive into Syria's northern province of Afrin last month to purportedly dislodge US-backed Kurdish militants that it views as terrorists from the area, a move that drew Iran's condemnation.

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