Iran parliament speaker says nuclear deal will collapse if US quits: Agencies

Protesters call for the Trump administration to continue diplomacy with Iran on Oct 12, 2017. Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani said that Washington's withdrawal from the nuclear deal could lead to global chaos. PHOTO: AFP

MOSCOW (REUTERS) - If the United States leaves the Iran nuclear deal, this will be the end of this international agreement, the TASS news agency cited Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani as saying on Friday (Oct 13).

Larijani, in Russia's second largest city of St Petersburg for an international parliamentary forum, also said that Washington's withdrawal from the nuclear deal could lead to global chaos, TASS reported.

Iran hopes that Russia will play a role in resolving the situation around the nuclear deal, Larijani said meeting Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of the Duma lower house of Russia's parliament, the Interfax news agency reported.

The Kremlin meanwhile warned Washington on Friday that abandoning the Iran nuclear deal would be a heavy blow to international relations and non-proliferation efforts.

"This could seriously aggravate the situation around the Iranian nuclear dossier," President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists. "Such actions will unequivocally damage the atmosphere of predictability, security, stability and non-proliferation in the entire world."

The warnings came as US President Donald Trump is expected to unveil a more aggressive strategy to check Iran's growing power later Friday. He is expected to stop short of withdrawing from the landmark 2015 nuclear deal which curbed Iran's nuclear programme in return for sanctions relief but will announce that the agreement is no longer in the US national interest.

Officials say he will not kill the international accord outright, instead "decertifying" the agreement and leaving US lawmakers to decide its fate.

Separately, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, speaking to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif by phone, expressed Moscow's "full commitment" to the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the foreign ministry said on Friday.

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. Other parties to the deal have all voiced staunch support for it, saying Iran has stuck to its commitments to curb its nuclear programme.

While the deal stalled Iran's nuclear programme, opponents say it also prevented efforts to challenge growing Iranian influence in the Middle East.

Separately, the Kremlin expressed concern that the United States denied entry to a Russian military delegation that had planned to take part in a briefing on the sidelines of the United Nations. "We are extremely concerned by the situation and consider it unacceptable," Peskov told reporters.

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