Moscow warns EU move on Iran deal risks ‘new escalation’

Russia condemned the EU move to put the Iran nuclear deal in dispute on Tuesday, warning it risked causing a “new escalation”.

“We do not rule out that the thoughtless actions of the Europeans could lead to a new escalation around the Iranian nuclear accord,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

The ministry added that Moscow sees “no reason for such a move.

“The mechanism to resolve differences was created for totally different ends,” the ministry added.

“The reasons for the difficulty of implementing the accord were broadly known and not linked to Iran,” but to the unilateral US  withdrawal from the accord in 2018 which led to new sanctions being imposed on Tehran, in Moscow’s view.

The ministry added that Iran’s nuclear programme “remains under the constant control of the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency).” It added that level of oversight was “unprecedented” in its scope.

“Despite all the challenges the Iranian nuclear accord has not lost its relevance,” the ministry concluded.

Britain, France and Germany on Tuesday launched a dispute mechanism charging Iran with failing to observe the terms of the 2015 deal curtailing its nuclear programme.

The move comes as tensions soar between the West and Iran following the killing of top commander Qasem Soleimani in a US strike, and the admission by Tehran days later that it had accidentally shot down a Ukrainian airliner