AFP/ PTI

Kremlin denounces 'unreasonable pressure' on Iran

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Moscow, May 8 :  Russia on Wednesday said it stood by the Iran nuclear deal and denounced US pressure that led to Tehran to suspend some of its commitments under the agreement.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said President Vladimir Putin remained committed to the agreement and that there were no alternatives "at the moment" to the deal.

"Putin has repeatedly spoken about the consequences of ill-considered steps towards Iran, meaning the decision taken by Washington" to reimpose sanctions, Peskov said.

He said Russia would work with European countries to maintain the "continued viability" of the nuclear deal and that it was too early to discuss the possibility of Russia joining sanctions against Tehran.

"Putin has said that it is ill-conceived and arbitrary decisions that put unreasonable pressure on Iran and cause the adverse steps that we are facing."

Meanwhile Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday called on signatories to abide by the Iran nuclear deal, during a press conference in Moscow with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif.

"I believe the only practical steps that need to be taken in order to resolve the situation... is to convince all remaining participants to fulfil their obligations," he said.

Lavrov said the 2015 deal had been "fragile" since US President Donald Trump announced Washington would pull out a year ago.

European signatories of the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), were trying to "divert attention" from their inability to implement points of the agreement, Lavrov said.

"We will call on them, as we have done before, to concentrate on implementing everything that is enshrined in the JCPOA and approved by the UN Security Council."

Zarif's Moscow visit came as Iran said it had stopped respecting limits on its nuclear activities agreed under the deal until other signatories find a way to bypass renewed US sanctions.

Washington reimposed sanctions after it quit the agreement one year ago, dealing a severe blow to the Iranian economy.

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