11:15 GMT27 February 2021
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    Despite new US President Joe Biden expressing interest in negotiating a return to the Iran nuclear deal, Washington is yet to initiate talks with Tehran. The deal suffered a major blow in 2018 after former US President Donald Trump withdrew his country from the deal and slapped sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

    Moscow and Tehran are both interested in the complete restoration of the Iran nuclear deal, also known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said during a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif.

    "The salvation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the Iranian nuclear issue is one of the most acute topics on the agenda. Both we and Iran are deeply interested in the full return of signatory states to fulfilling their obligations under the accord", Lavrov said.

    Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, in turn, expressed gratitude to Moscow for its "constructive and unwavering position" on the issue of the JCPOA.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meets his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif in Moscow, 26 January 2021.
    © Sputnik / Russian Foreign Ministry
    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meets his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif in Moscow, 26 January 2021.

    The Russian foreign minister stressed that due to both Moscow and Tehran’s role in the region the two states are also interested in expanding a dialogue on a number of other issues, such as security in the Persian Gulf, the resolution of the domestic conflict in Afghanistan, and the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh.

    The Future of the Iran Nuclear Accord

    The JCPOA gradually eroded following the US withdrawal from the deal in 2018 at previous President Donald Trump’s behest, who claimed the deal was flawed. Over the past three years, Washington has slapped hefty sanctions on the Iranian economy forcing the country to eventually abandon its obligations of non-using advanced centrifuges and adhering to limits on volume and enrichment levels of nuclear fuel produced in the Islamic Republic. Tehran argued that it had the right to such recourse since it no longer benefitted from the JCPOA.

    The nuclear deal might, however, have a chance of being restored. Newly sworn-in US President Joe Biden said he was interested in negotiating a return to the JCPOA, although it is unclear if the conditions and provisions will remain the same. Various media reports suggest that Iran's missile programme and regional policy might also be up for discussion in the course of the talks on the US return to the JCPOA. Washington, however, has not yet initiated talks with Tehran on the matter.

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    Tags:
    Iran nuclear deal, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Russia, Iran
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