Russia promises to protect Iran from US sanctions

Russia intends to take measures to oppose US sanctions on Iran, said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov on Monday in a comment on the new restrictions on Tehran announced by the US State Department on Saturday.

“We’ll have to wait for what is announced in this package. This is not the first time the US has threatened with new sanctions, instead of adopting the model that is obvious in this situation, of finding an opportunity for, if not direct political dialog, then dialog and the search for diplomatic solutions to the existing problems,” TASS cites Ryabkov as saying.

According to the diplomat, the tension surrounding Iran “will only intensify” as a result of the US’s policy. “This reflects a conscious, purposeful policy to exacerbate the situation,” Ryabkov remarked.

“We, of course, condemn such a US policy,” he said. “We have noted the illegitimacy of unilateral sanctions repeatedly. All of this is a reflection of a broader attitude, which now appears to be at the heart of Washington’s foreign policy trajectory, to replace international law and the universal mechanisms for resolving international problems with its own national legislation, through unilateral steps.”

“This is a diktat in its purest form, an attempt to impose on the rest the terms which Washington considers correct,” Ryabkov continued, “To us this is unacceptable, we will continue to oppose such a policy, including by cooperating with other forces in the international community.”

On Friday, Ryabkov said that Russia will help to safeguard Iran’s interests in oil exportation and in the banking sector, with the primary concern being for Tehran to be able to export oil “on at least a comparable scale” to the period before May last year.

Russia and Iran have a joint “oil for goods” program, Ryabkov noted, admitting that the quantities exchanged in such barter schemes “don’t add up to much”.

The negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action will be complicated by the fact that the Europeans are starting to go along with the US’s stricter approach to Iran, Ryabkov observed, adding that he considers this an “extremely alarming phenomenon”.

“We can easily imagine the serious, difficult background against which the joint commission session scheduled for 28 June in Vienna will take place. On the one hand, there is the sharp deterioration in the Persian Gulf region, the tensions being let off there, and on the other hand, additional sanctions at the US’s behest,” he observed.

  Russia, Ryabkov, Iran, USA