TEHRAN (Press Shia) – A top Russian diplomat said Washington wants to use the recent civil unrest Iran to undermine the JCPOA, the 2015 nuclear agreement between Tehran and world powers.

“We warn the US against attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the Tass news agency on Thursday.

He added that Washington “is tempted to use the moment to raise new issues with regard to the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action).”  

The 159-page nuclear agreement was reached by Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) in July 2015 and came into force in January 2016.

In October, US President Donald Trump said he will choose not to certify that Tehran is complying with the deal.

Last week, a number of peaceful protests over economic problems broke out in several Iranian cities, but the gatherings turned violent when groups of participants, some of them armed, vandalized public property and launched attacks on police stations and government buildings.

Over a dozen people have been killed in the ensuing violence, according to media reports.

Trump and a number of other US officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, have sided with the opportunists and demonstrators who were trying to damage public property in the gatherings. 

On Wednesday and Thursday, Iranians from all walks of life took to the streets in several cities to condemn the violence.

The participants voiced support for the government and shouted slogans against the US and the Israeli regime for backing the riots.

Iranian officials maintain that people have the right to stage protests to express their opinions, as long as rallies comply with the legal conditions.

According to Article 27 of the Iranian Constitution, “public gatherings and marches are allowed so long as the participants do not carry arms and are not in violation of the fundamental principles of Islam.”