"Estimates like this are always subjective, but, as I see it, we're more than 90% there. There's relatively little left to do. But there are politically sensitive matters in the remaining 10%, which could cause a delay. That can't be ruled out," Ulyanov told Russian newspaper Kommersant.
The US argues that their laws do not allow them to provide any guarantees, the diplomat explained.
"In theory, and I have said it more than once at the meetings of the joint commission, there is, actually, a guarantee. And a quite serious one. If one side starts misbehaving, the other one can retaliate at once," Ulyanov said.
"We'd like to hope that Americans can learn from their mistakes. As opponents of the nuclear deal, especially in the United States, have had three years to see, the maximum pressure policy brings results that are opposite to what was expected," the diplomat said.
Key Sanctions May Be Lifted Off Iran in August
Key US sanctions may be lifted off Iran as early as in August, if there is an agreement to restore the nuclear deal, Ulyanov added.
"If we agree to restore the nuclear deal, main US sanctions could be lifted as early as August. Iran will be able to trade oil and not just that. As a result, its treasury will start getting large top-ups," Ulyanov told Russian newspaper Kommersant.
Iran could use these funds to pay back to Russia for the expenses incurred over Bushehr nuclear plant, Ulyanov said, The debt has "become significant," according to the diplomat.
Iran's Plans to Produce Metal Uranium Because of US Pressure
Iran's plans to produce metal uranium come as a direct result of the US pressure, Russia's Permanent Representative to International Organisations in Vienna said.
"In a first occasion for non-nuclear countries, Iran began enriching uranium to 60%. And now it's about to start producing metal uranium enriched to 20%. I don't think anyone in the US is happy about that, but that's the direct consequence of the maximum pressure policy," Ulyanov noted.
At the same time, Iran may be going too far, the diplomat said.
"We have always refrained from harsh critcism of Iran, as we understand that it reacts to the unseemly policy of maximum pressure. When we commented on Tehran's distancing itself from the nuclear deal, we used the word 'regret.' But now, there are probably grounds for concern. Iran seems to be going too far," Ulyanov added.
The sooner the deal is restored, the sooner this can be remedied, the diplomat said.
On 10 June, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that Washington lifted sanctions from three former Iranian government officials and two local energy companies. This came as the members of the JCPOA engaged in the Vienna talks aimed at reviving the Iran nuclear deal, which the US abandoned in 2018.
The JCPOA was signed in 2015 by Iran, China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, United States, and the European Union, stipulating the removal of international sanctions from Tehran in exchange for it scaling down its nuclear programme. However, in 2018, the Trump administration unilaterally withdrew from the deal and reimposed sanctions on Iran. Tehran responded by gradually abandoning its own commitments toward complete withdrawal until sanctions are lifted.