The Russian Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Vienna said that the work to restore Iran nuclear deal is more than 90% done, but the remaining 10 percent includes some sensitive matters.
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"Estimates like this are always subjective, but, as I see it, we're more than 90% there. There's relatively little left to do. But there are politically sensitive matters in the remaining 10%, which could cause a delay. That can't be ruled out," Mikhail Ulyanov told Russian newspaper Kommersant, Sputnik reported.
The U.S. argues that their laws do not allow them to provide any guarantees, the diplomat explained.
"In theory, and I have said it more than once at the meetings of the joint commission, there is, actually, a guarantee. And a quite serious one. If one side starts misbehaving, the other one can retaliate at once," Ulyanov said.
"We'd like to hope that Americans can learn from their mistakes. As opponents of the nuclear deal, especially in the United States, have had three years to see, the maximum pressure policy brings results that are opposite to what was expected," the diplomat said.
Key US sanctions may be lifted off Iran as early as in August, if there is an agreement to restore the nuclear deal, Ulyanov added.
"If we agree to restore the nuclear deal, main US sanctions could be lifted as early as August. Iran will be able to trade oil and not just that. As a result, its treasury will start getting large top-ups," Ulyanov said.
Iran's plans to produce metal uranium come as a direct result of the US pressure, Russia's Permanent Representative to International Organisations in Vienna said.
"In the first occasion for non-nuclear countries, Iran began enriching uranium to 60%. And now it's about to start producing metal uranium enriched to 20%. I don't think anyone in the US is happy about that, but that's the direct consequence of the maximum pressure policy," Ulyanov noted.
At the same time, Iran may be going too far, the diplomat said.
"We have always refrained from harsh critcism of Iran, as we understand that it reacts to the unseemly policy of maximum pressure. When we commented on Tehran's distancing itself from the nuclear deal, we used the word 'regret.' But now, there are probably grounds for concern. Iran seems to be going too far," Ulyanov added.
Iran has already held six rounds of talks with JCPOA participants known as the P4+1 with the aim of salvaging the JCPOA in the Austrian capital of Vienna. Tehran has insisted that it would resume full compliance with the deal after the full removal of the sanctions that the previous US administration under Trump illegally imposed on Tehran after its unilateral and illegitimate withdrawal from the JCPOA in May 2018.
Tehran has already stressed that it would leave the Vienna talks if they take too long and if its legitimate demands as per the JCPOA are not met.
Tehran has also said that it does see the sheer US return to the agreement as important when the sanctions are still in place. The current US administration has not yet fulfilled the promises Joe Biden made during his presidential elections campaigns to undo Trump's actions and return to the deal. ■