World Russia backs 'our Iranian friends' against Biden in nuclear talks
Iran talks set up delicate dance for Biden team
The Biden administration is moving forward on steps to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal, with officials set to participate in high level discussions with signatories to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in Vienna next week. The U.S. and Iran are not expected to meet face to face, although administration officials have said they remain open to direct talks. The Vienna meeting marks the most forward movement for the Biden team, which will engage with European, Russian and Chinese counterparts over what steps the U.S. can take to achieve a "mutual return" for both America and Iran.
President Joe Biden’s administration is “utterly senseless” to seek any new restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program or military apparatus, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
“The way we see it, it is utterly senseless to demand Iran should accept new conditions within the framework of the nuclear deal or assume new obligations apart from the JCPOA,” Lavrov, using the acronym for the 2015 nuclear deal, according to state media.
Those remarks were just one in a series of comments aligning Russia with Tehran’s negotiating position, with the opening round of talks over the U.S. and Iranian return to compliance underway in Vienna. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s teamthat Russia and China share the Western interest in constraining Iran’s nuclear program, but U.S. intelligence officials also perceive Russian officials as most U.S. policy initiatives.
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“Moscow will continue to employ a variety of tactics this year meant to undermine US influence, develop new international norms and partnerships, divide Western countries and weaken Western alliances, and demonstrate Russia’s ability to shape global events as a major player in a new multipolar international order,” a newfrom the Office of the Director of National Intelligence states.
Lavrov portrayed Biden’s current maintenance of the sanctions imposed by former President Donald Trump as a self-serving policy by the U.S. government.
“The main problem, as we see it, is Washington's persistent unwillingness to abandon its flawed course towards upholding the U.S.'s global dominance,” he told Iranian media, claiming the United States and European government had embarked upon a “neocolonial” foreign policy. “This is, of course, unacceptable for both Russia and Iran, as well as most countries of the world.”
China demands Biden cave to Iran after US urges Beijing to be 'partner' in nuclear talks
A senior Chinese diplomat endorsed Iran’s negotiating position during a high-stakes meeting about the rehabilitation of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, even as President Joe Biden hopes Beijing will be a “partner” in these negotiations. © Provided by Washington Examiner “This is a question involving the fundamental principle of rights and wrongs. As a victim, Iran's legitimate requirement should, in the first place, be affirmed and catered for,” Chinese Ambassador Wang Qun, the top Chinese diplomat to the United Nations in Vienna, told state media. “In order to break the current impasse, it is imperative that the U.S.
Iranian officials want Biden to lift all sanctions imposed by Trump — not only the nuclear sanctions renewed when he exited the 2015 deal but also the terrorism-related sanctions.
U.S. officials so far have signaled they will refuse to do so. Russia’s position is “clear and consistent with our Iranian friends’ approach,” Lavrov stated.
“All unilateral sanctions imposed by Washington in direct violation of the JCPOA must, of course, be lifted,” he said. “This topic is being discussed in Vienna.”
American negotiators in Vienna, however, have emphasized that Iran’s demand is too expansive because Tehran is trying to pressure Biden to lift terrorism sanctions, in addition to the nuclear-related measures.
“Under the deal, the U.S. retains the right to impose sanctions for nonnuclear reasons, whether it’s terrorism or human rights violations or interference with our elections, etc.,” a senior State Department official told reporters on Friday. “Our view is that all sanctions that are inconsistent with the JCPOA and inconsistent with the benefits that Iran expects from the JCPOA, we are prepared to lift those if Iran comes back into compliance with its obligations.”
Iran 'Will Definitely Respond' to Attack on Its Ship, Suspects U.S., Israel
The unclaimed attack comes as the U.S. and Iran appeared closer to nuclear deal negotiations for the first time since former President Donald Trump left the exit, sparking a wave of unrest in the Middle East and surrounding seas.Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi, a spokesperson for the Iranian armed forces, told Russia's state-run Sputnik news outlet that Iranian authorities were still investigating the reported limpet mine attack that struck the cargo ship MV Saviz, a vessel linked to the country's elite Revolutionary Guard. Once the source of the attack is established, retribution would follow, he said.
Lavrov condemned the European Union’s decision this week to sanction Iranian security officialsin a violent crackdown on protests that took place in 2019.
“If the decision was made deliberately, in the midst of the ongoing talks in Vienna on ways to rescue the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, then this is not a disaster,” he said. "It is the kind of mistake that, as you know, is worse than a crime.”
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Putin and Biden are circling each other warily (opinion) .
Joe Biden had vowed that Putin would "pay a price" for his actions --interfering with America's elections, aggression and occupation in Ukraine, involvement in the SolarWinds hack, and more -- and is following through with a series of punishing sanctions, writes Frida Ghitis. Will Putin back down? The next move is Russia's.Just two days after President Joe Biden invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to meet in person, the Biden administration is rolling out a series of tough sanctions designed not just to signal unhappiness with the actions of the Russian regime, but to have a significant diplomatic and economic impact.