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    US Looking for Pretext to Step Up Pressure on Iran - Russian Deputy FM

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Washington is looking for a pretext to step up pressure on Tehran, however the potential use of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in order to achieve this goal is not in compliance with the US' status as a great power, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Sputnik.

    "These calls are being voiced in a rather recurrent way, I would even say, on a regular basis. We do not know what in the JCPOA could have dissatisfied the US side. The content of the document is well-known and the US side monitors its implementation and participates in the sessions of the Joint Commission [of the JCPOA], as well as in other discussions," Ryabkov said commenting on Pence's statement.

    According to the Russian diplomat, the attempts to step up pressure on Tehran over reasons not related to the Iranian nuclear agreement would be "a dirty game."

    "If a pretext for stepping up pressure against Iran is being looked for over reasons unrelated to the JCPOA, and it is true, according to our observations, then it is a dirty game, which is at the odds with the status of a great power," the diplomat added.

    Speaking about the recent US decision to put five Iran-based companies on the sanctions list and the potential introduction of new sanctions, Ryabkov said that Washington's claims against Tehran regarding its regional policy were not entirely clear, adding that if someone was dissatisfied with Iran's foreign policy then it was necessary to enhance dialogue with the country and use diplomatic means in order to settle any issues.

    READ MORE: US Sanctions Five Iran-Based Entities as Key Parts of Ballistic Missile Program

    At the same time, Russia sees no reason to make changes in the provisions of the JCPOA.

    "We do not see any reasons to somehow amend the JCPOA. The accord is thoroughly balanced, it is well-considered and each provision of the deal has a logical basis behind it," Ryabkov said.

    "The thing is that the JCPOA should not be turned into a tool of solving any other problems [apart from the ones already mentioned in the deal], it is a very serious agreement with its own inherent value and it should be treated very carefully. We are trying to get this message across to our US colleagues and we hope that other parties to the JCPOA, other members of the international community will continue assisting us in our tireless work aimed at explaining that the policy implemented by Washington at the moment is wrong," the diplomat added.

    The statements come after US Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday that Washington was supportive of having "a long-term agreement" on the Iranian nuclear program and within the framework of this deal if Tehran made an attempt to obtain nuclear weapons or ballistic missiles, all the anti-Iran sanctions would be "re-imposed immediately."

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    Tags:
    Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Sergei Ryabkov, Iran, United States
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