On May 8, U.S. President Donald Trump delivered a speech in which he announced Washington's withdrawal from the JCPOA. Russia's MFA criticized the move, stating that the United States is once again acting in defiance of majority international opinion. Russia's MFA also stressed that the United States, by its action, was jeopardizing regional peace and security.
Below are reactions to Trump's decision:
Russia's MFA: Trump's Speech Is 'A New Confirmation Of Washington’s Intractability'
Commenting on Trump's speech, The Russian Foreign Ministry published a statement in its webpage on developments surrounding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to resolve the issue of Iran’s nuclear program:
"We are deeply disappointed by US President Donald Trump’s decision to unilaterally give up commitments to implement the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran’s nuclear program (JCPOA) and to reinstate the US sanctions on Iran.
"The JCPOA is a key multilateral agreement approved by the 2015 UNSC Resolution 2231. The Action Plan does not belong to the United States alone but is a domain of the entire international community, which has repeatedly reaffirmed its interest in the preservation and long-term sustainable implementation of the JCPOA for the sake of strengthening international and regional peace and security as well as the nuclear non-proliferation regime.
"We are gravely concerned that the United States is acting once again in defiance of the opinions of the majority of states and exclusively out of its own narrow and opportunistic interests while grossly violating international law.
"There are no and cannot be any grounds for undermining the JCPOA. The Plan has proved its absolute relevance. It efficiently tackles all the challenges it is designed to address.
Iran is abiding strictly with the obligations it has undertaken, which is regularly confirmed by the IAEA. We fully support and welcome that.
"Unfortunately, Washington’s actions undermine the international community’s confidence in the IAEA, which has repeatedly proved its high professionalism in the course of the JCPOA implementation.
"The decisions announced on May 8 are a new confirmation of Washington’s intractability. They also show that the U.S. objections to Iran’s absolutely legal nuclear activity are nothing but a smokescreen for settling political scores with Iran.
"Washington’s newly unveiled position is a significant violation of the JCPOA. A joint commission of the JCPOA member states must promptly and scrupulously consider and assess this situation using the established procedures.
"Russia is open to further cooperation with the other JCPOA participants and will continue to actively develop bilateral collaboration and political dialogue with the Islamic Republic of Iran."
(Mid.ru, May 8, 2018)
Senator Kosachev: This Decision Was Foreseeable From The Very Beginning Of Trump's Presidency
Senator Konstantin Kosachev, Chairman of the Federation Council's Foreign Affairs Committee, said:
"Trump's decision to quit the Iranian deal that was attained by enormous efforts in July 2015, is irresponsible in form and destructive in its essence. Probably, this is the first time in recent decades, when a country, pretending to be a global leader, is blatantly abusing its self-proclaimed authority in order to demonstrate its 'leadership' merely in a banal manner.
"This decision has been anticipated since the very beginning of Trump's presidency. Yet, I think, everyone, including the U.S allies, hoped until the very last moment that he would refrain (for the 4th time) from this, perhaps, fatal step. The repercussions may be literally destructive. We are yet to learn whether the U.S. president has lit the fuse to the Middle-Eastern 'powder keg'.
"Trump's Washington, from the very outset, pursued a very hard line against Tehran, accordingly the decision to quit the agreement is not surprising. Yet, the meaning of this sort of historical deal goes way beyond merely U.S.-Iran relations framework. This was one of the rare, even unique cases for the world following 2014, when the leading Western powers together with Russia and China succeeded to solve an pressing problem, lift the UN sanctions in exchange for an [Iranian] renunciation of nuclear procurement. Thus, Trump by the virtue of his abandoning the deal, delivers a simultaneous blow to the general capacity of the international community, to America's reputation as a responsible global player, and to fragile peace in the Middle East. This is a case when no side will gain victory out of such a step – including America and Trump himself.
"… Even if the Europeans, Russia and China agree to go on respecting the 2015 deal, there is no guarantee that Iran will do the same. For here, as in the case of North Korea - the main risks emanate from the US and its ally Israel. The agreement played the role of a restraining factor regarding an increasingly possible Iran-Israel war. At the moment Washington basically pushed the sides towards military conflict and it pushed Iran to continue nuclear weapons development…"
(Facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002123135703, May 8, 2018)
Senator Klintsevich: It Is One Of The Most Unfortunate Decisions By The U.S.
Senator Franz Klintsevich, the first deputy chairman of the Russian Federation Council's Committee on Defense and Security, stated:
"The worst state of international relation is its unpredictability. I think that the U.S. exit from the nuclear deal with Iran, which was announced by Trump is one the most unfortunate decisions by an American administration in recent years. It's unfortunate in terms of overall world security. By piling up one problem atop another and by trying to solve all them at once, the new U.S. administration is planting a mine under contemporary world order. Donald Trump has made a very dangerous decision today"
(Ria.ru, May 9, 2018)
Senator Pushkov: Trump Is Getting Back To Bush's Doctrine On Iran
Senator Aleksey Pushkov stated:
"Trump is in such a hurry to quit the Iranian deal as if he wants to start a war against it [Iran] as soon as possible. Every U.S. president during the last 20 years had his 'own' war, Bush even had two. Trump is reverting to the Bush doctrine with respect to Iran. He has taken a step towards his war."
(Ria.ru, May 9, 2018)
Duma MP Novikov: If The Deal Is Cancelled, Iran Will Have Full Freedom Of Action
Dmitry Novikov, First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs Dmitry Novikov, said:
"If the deal will crumble, then of course, Iran will theoretically have freedom of action, including the possibility of nuclear weapons development and implementing the relevant programs. Thus, the U.S. at the moment is assuming the role of provocateur."
(Ria.ru, May 9, 2018)
Duma MP Zheleznyak: Tehran's Reaction Will Be Justified
MP Sergey Zheleznyak, member of the State Duma Committee for International Affairs, stated:
"The White House has once again invented fake reasons for breaking international agreements, which threatens a new source of tensions in the region. Tehran's reaction will be legitimate and forthcoming."
"Having attained no results in Syria, the U.S. seeks reasons to reinforce it positions there – Washington is trying to take out its failure on Iran, which is playing an important role in stabilizing the situation in the region and carrying out a major mediation mission in Syria".
(Ria.ru, May 8, 2018)
Russian Diplomat Ulyanov: Tehran Refrained From Impulsive Reactions
Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia's Permanent Representative to International Organizations in Vienna, opined:
"Tehran, in this situation, displayed sagacity - it refrained from rash reaction and announced its readiness to consider the issue of further implementing the deal without the U.S... Thus the diplomatic work will be continued and apparently it will be very intensive".
(Ria.ru, May 9, 2018)
Russian Intellectual Lukyanov: Moscow Benefits From the Fact That Washington Is Confronting All Its Allies
Russian Intellectual Fyodor Lukyanov wrote in his Telegram channel:
"Well, Donald Trump did not disappoint. The U.S. president chose the harshest scenario to denounce participation in the nuclear agreement with Iran.
"What does it mean? Europe is supremely ignored to put it cynically. Not a week has passed since an encouraged [French President Emmanuel] Macron spoke of his success in persuading his dear friend Donald. At the moment the EU finds itself in an awkward situation. To swallow [the spit] and wipe its face – means unconditional surrender as an independent political entity. Beginning to show serious dissatisfaction, Trump has already introduced his Damocles sword in the form of deferred but not terminated trade restrictions. He made it clear multiple times that any gestures of good will by U.S. allies should be phased out in favor of maximum loyalty, and if not there is an 'America first'...
"Iran should prepare itself for a new wave of "crippling sanctions", which definitely will have a strong influence on the internal political situation. The current "liberal" Iranian leadership is worried about this no less than by possible international consequences. President Rouhani and FM Zarif were the major enthusiasts of the agreement –the agreement's failure is strengthening the positions of those, who said from the very beginning that it is senseless to negotiate with the Americans about anything. Simultaneously we should expect a deteriorating situation around Syria – encouraged by Trump's strong support the Iranian enemies will counterattack.
"The last observation [poses] a problem for Russia, which is critically involved with Iran in Syria, and willingly or unwillingly must support it, although Russia would not want to severe relations with Israel or the Gulf States...
"Regarding the deal itself, let's be honest, there was never warm support in Russia for this idea. The MFA honestly and skillfully assisted in reaching the deal, governed by general political considerations such as a non-proliferation regime, war prevention and so forth. Yet, the question of for what purpose –why should Russia have assisted an Iran-Washington rapprochement remained hanging in the air? If the U.S. itself is tearing up the agreement, why should Russia grieve about that? The mere fact that the U.S. is confronting currently all its allies and international organization is to Moscow's benefit. This is yet one more obstacle in a way of a consolidated front to pressure [Russia] that Washington is trying to organize."
Russian Analyst Danilov: The Demand For Russian Diplomatic Support Is Rising
Russian analyst Ivan Danilov wrote in an for the Russian news agency RIA:
"To look at things pragmatically, Russia benefits from the situation: oil prices are going up, the demand for Russian-made weapons is rising along with geo-political tensions as well as a demand for Russian diplomatic support. Moreover, taking into account American nasty behavior, the demand for sober and trustworthy partners for geo-political dialogue is also on the rise, even in the EU. Turning all those positive circumstances into concrete political and financial benefits for Russia is a technical matter. Putin can definitely handle it."
(Ria.ru, May 9, 2018)
Russian Political Analyst Podberezkin: The Deal Has No Meaning Without The U.S.
Alexey Podberezkin, head of the Center for Military and Political Studies with the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, said:
"The U.S. allies have a very limited political sovereignty – it can't be excluded that they will be forced to quit the deal as well. Aside from that, the deal makes little sense without the U.S. Iran will consider the deal null and void. Thus, Iran will find much cause for de-facto non-compliance with the deal in order to start discussing the missile-delivery technologies and so on. Perhaps, Iran will desire to test a nuclear weapon and then the consequences will be severe – conflict escalation and a war as a result."
(Ria.ru, May 8, 2018)
Russian Political Analyst Timofeev: If The U.S. Introduced The Prior Level Of Sanctions Against Iran, This Would Not Be Fatal For Tehran, Fortunately The U.S. Is Isolated
Ivan Timofeev, Director of Programs at the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), wrote:
"I do not think that if the Americans introduce the same prior level of sanctions as previously against Iran, this will be fatal for Tehran. Let's imagine a situation where the Americans tell their allies to join the sanctions – obviously no one will join them. It's impossible to build a new anti-Iranian coalition today.
"Sanctions are effective only when there is a coalition in place. If the Americans are the only ones to introduce sanctions – Tehran will not suffer too much. Moreover, in this case Iran will have moral superiority over Washington.
"At the moment the Iranians have a shot at beating the Americans, if they demonstrate sensitivity and restraint. Tehran may portray Washington as an unreliable partner, whom no one should consider. On the other hand, if Tehran decides to aggravate the situation, it will forfeit European, Russian and Chinese sympathies."
(Russiancouncil.ru, May 9, 2018)