Russia deeply disappointed at Trump's Iran decision: Foreign Ministry

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Both Washington's European allies and Teheran pledged on Tuesday to uphold the 2015 Iran nuclear deal despite President Donald Trump's decision to pull the United States out and reimpose sanctions.
US President Donald Trump delivers an announcement on Iran in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington, DC on May 8, 2018. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

MOSCOW (AFP) - Russia's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday (May 8) said Moscow was deeply disappointed by US President Donald Trump's decision to abandon the Iran nuclear deal, a move it called a blatant violation of international law.

In a statement, the ministry said it was "deeply disappointed by the decision of US President Donald Trump to unilaterally refuse to carry out commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action", the official name for the 2015 deal.

Washington's actions were "flagrantly trampling on the norms of international law", the ministry said, saying it is "highly concerned that the US is once more acting contrary to the opinion of the majority of countries".

Moscow condemned Mr Trump's decision as "fresh proof of Washington's inability to negotiate", alleging that US criticism of Iran's "absolutely legal nuclear activity" was "just a smokescreen for settling political scores with it".

A joint commission of world powers that reached the deal "must swiftly and very scrupulously examine and assess the current situation", the ministry said.

Russia is "open to further cooperation" with the rest of the group of world powers that reached the deal and "will continue to actively develop bilateral cooperation and political dialogue with Iran", the ministry said.

The Kremlin has previously warned Washington against abandoning the landmark 2015 deal, saying this would deal a heavy blow to international relations and non-proliferation efforts.

The agreement was signed between Iran and six world powers - Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the US - at talks coordinated by the European Union.

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Teheran in November last year and both countries are pushing for a peace deal in Syria where they are key backers of President Bashar al-Assad.

Moscow and Teheran have had close political and economic relations, and in the nuclear field, Russia has already built one reactor at Iran's Bushehr plant and started work on two new ones.

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