TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Russia aims to promote cooperation with Iran, including in the nuclear sphere, despite US blackmail and extraterritorial sanctions, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said.
“No threat of new sanctions will stop our legitimate and mutually beneficial cooperation with Iran,” Ryabkov told Sputnik.
“We have been living under US anti-Russia sanctions since 2012,” he said, adding, “It is clear that over this period there has been a serious adaptation to this illegal trick by the United States.”
Iran has an even bigger experience on how to live under the US sanctions, the Russian deputy foreign minister said.
“Therefore, we perceive threats of this kind calmly, we do not succumb to blackmail and we will systematically expand and develop our cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran, including in the atomic energy sector in full compliance with international law and the national legislation of our countries, regardless of what US colleagues are undertaking, realizing, as they believe, their right to the extraterritorial application of their national legislation,” Ryabkov stressed.
The Trump administration renewed five of seven sanctions waivers that allow Russia and European nations to conduct civilian nuclear cooperation with Iran but revoked the other two as part of its pressure campaign against Tehran, the US State Department said.
On Friday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo extended the waivers, which were due to expire Saturday, for 90 days, shorter than the 180 days that had been granted in the past.
The waivers permit work at several Iranian nuclear sites to continue without US penalties. Under the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, Russia and several European nations help maintain the facilities.
Facilities included in the waiver extensions include the Bushehr nuclear power plant, the Fordow enrichment facility, the Arak nuclear complex and the Tehran Research Reactor, the US State Department said.
However, the Bushehr waiver is being tightened so that any assistance to expand the plant could incur sanctions, it said.
The other two waivers — one that allowed Iran to store excess heavy water produced in the uranium enrichment process in Oman, and one that allowed Iran to swap enriched uranium for raw yellowcake with Russia — were not renewed, the department said. That decision is aimed at forcing Iran to stop enriching uranium, something it was allowed to do up to certain limits under the nuclear deal, the statement added.