‘Russia is not a firefighting team, cannot save everything alone’ – Putin on Iranian nuclear deal

Iranians burn the picture of President Donald Trump during a protest against Trump’s decision to walk out of a 2015 nuclear deal, in Tehran / Free

Moscow cannot save the Iranian nuclear deal from falling apart all by itself, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said, adding that the destruction of the agreement was triggered by the US, while Europe has failed to react.

While Moscow believes the deal – officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – should be preserved, it can be saved only through the efforts of all its signees, Putin said during a press conference Wednesday after meeting Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen.

“Russia is not a firefighting team, we cannot go around and save everything that does not fully depend on us,” Russia’s president stated.

He added that saying such an “undiplomatic thing might hurt the ears of our European friends.” Putin squarely put the blame for the dismantling of the JCPOA on the US while blasting the EU’s inability to actually do something about saving the deal.

“The Americans have withdrawn from the deal, the agreement is crumbling and European countries are unable to do anything to save it, unable to actually work with Iran and compensate for [its] economic losses,” he stated.

Putin believes it’s not quite “expedient” for Iran to leave the deal altogether, given how strictly Tehran has abided to it and how transparent the country’s nuclear sector has become.

“I’ve repeatedly told our Iranian partners that, in my opinion, it would be advisable for Iran to stay within the deal no matter what,” Putin said. “Iran might take retaliatory steps [over the US leaving the JCPOA], and say that it’s leaving something, but tomorrow everyone will forget it was triggered by the US and all the blame will be put on Iran.”

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