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Russia says Washington guaranteed that sanctions will not affect its dealings with Iran

Foreign ministers of Russia and Iran indicate an obstacle to restore the nuclear deal has been lifted and that an agreement is “home straight;” Israel, UAE demand security guarantees from U.S.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) and Iranian Foreign Minister Amir Abdollahian shake hands during a press conference following a meeting at the Reception House of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mar. 15, 2022 (Photo: Russian Foreign Ministry/TASS via Reuters)

With Russian and Iranian leaders hinting that the revival of the Iran nuclear deal is in the home stretch, the Russian foreign minister said Washington guaranteed that sanctions in place on Moscow right now will not affect its dealings with Iran.

In a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart on Tuesday in Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia has received written guarantees from the United States that its trade and any dealings with Iran within the framework of the renewed agreement would not be affected by the western sanctions that followed its invasion of Ukraine. 

“We received written guarantees. They are included in the text of the agreement itself on the resumption of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the Iranian nuclear program,” Lavrov told reporters. 

There was no immediate comment from the White House on Lavrov’s claims. 

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian invited Lavrov to visit Tehran soon. He said that nothing would negatively impact talks in Vienna, adding that “the interruption of talks can pave the way for the resolution of issues and the return of all parties to their nuclear deal commitments.” 

Last week, talks in Vienna were paused following a reiterated demand from Moscow that U.S. sanctions not affect its relationship with Tehran. Lavrov insisted on receiving “guarantees at least at the level of the secretary of state.” 

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken dismissed the demands as “irrelevant,” insisting that they “just are not in any way linked together.”

The Washington Free Beacon reported on Tuesday that a new policy brief circulating around Capitol Hill says a nuclear deal will create a “sanctions evasion hub for Vladimir Putin based in Iran.” 

According to the document sent to members by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, “policymakers should understand why this deal will establish a sanctions evasion hub for Vladimir Putin based in Iran—dramatically undermining international attempts to halt Russia's invasion of Ukraine and deter further aggression.”

In recent weeks, Lavrov stated that Russia is expecting unhindered cooperation with Iran in all areas without discrimination. He noted that this should also apply to Russia and China’s plans to help Iran develop its civilian nuclear program in line with non-proliferation rules. 

On Monday, Bloomberg reported that Israel and the United Arab Emirates are pressuring the U.S. to provide them with security guarantees against Iran as the new nuclear deal is being finalized. The two countries have reportedly coordinated their stances, but expressed them to Washington separately. 

They urged the Biden administration to boost missile defenses and enhance intelligence sharing, according to the report, as part of a coherent defensive plan for the region.

Israeli and Emirati officials have voiced concerns that a new nuclear deal will give Iran a massive flow of oil money that will further fund and arm Tehran’s regional proxies.

Tal Heinrich is a senior correspondent for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS. She is currently based in New York City. Tal also provides reports and analysis for Israeli Hebrew media Channel 14 News.

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