Russian envoy to the Vienna nuclear talks, Mikhail Ulyanov speaks at a session of JCPOA. Nov. 29, 2021

Russian envoy to the Vienna nuclear talks, Mikhail Ulyanov speaks at a session of JCPOA.

Russia Supports Iran Nuclear Deal But 'No Close Ties With The West'


Political commentator Diako Hosseini in Tehran says Russia supports the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal but wants tensions to continue between Iran and the West.

Speaking to Rouydad24 website, Hosseini said that when Russians look at the bigger picture, they see Iran as part of their geopolitical map. Just like the Americans, Russians too have shown that they do not wish to see Iran becoming a nuclear power. They are sensitive to this matter and will always obstruct Iran's path to nuclear bombs. But at the same time, a nuclear agreement should not mean Iran getting too close to the West.

While Moscow was playing an active mediation role between Tehran and Washington during the Vienna talks in recent months, after the invasion of Ukraine it made demands that were seen as a stumbling block to an agreement. Russia asked for written guarantees from the US that Western sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine would not affect its ties with Iran.

Hosseini said, it is natural that the Russians follow their own interests in the talks. With the Ukraine war, their interests have become even more complicated. "Russians know that if the nuclear deal is not revived, tensions between Tehran and the West will increase to the point of a war. If there is such a war, it will be difficult for Moscow to support any side or even to declare impartiality."

Iranian political commentator Diako Hosseini.

For the time being, Russia's interests overlap with Iran's interests but in case there is an agreement, Russia will be worried that Iran might get too close to the West. The best-case scenario for Russia is continued tensions between Iran and the West, Hosseini argued.

According to the website, the Vienna talks have reached a difficult point where there is little chance for progress. The website quoted Hosseini as defending Tehran’s position that all post-2018 sanctions are about the nuclear issue. If the 2015 nuclear agreement, JCPOA, is to be revived, all sanctions including those against the IRGC need to be lifted.

He added that some recent remarks by Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian indicate that Iran might compromise over the IRGC issue. He was referring to Amir-Abdollahian’s statement last week that IRGC commanders told him to prioritize Iran's interests over the interests of the Revolutionary Guard.

Meanwhile, in an interview with Fararu website, former lawmaker Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh said that both Iran and the United States need an agreement to prevent rising tensions in the region andthe world.

He said an agreement is at hand and its final draft has been prepared but matters beyond the nuclear agreement prevent a final deal to be made. Last week Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's adviser Kamal Kharrazi once again called for guarantees from America, lifting of all sanctions, and delisting the IRGC as requirements for a deal. This comes while several Iranian lawmakers including Ali Khezri claim they have seen a 27-page final draft of an agreement between Iran and the United States.

Falahatpishe, the former chairman of Iranian parliaments national security and foreign policy Committee said it is not known if Russia still insists on its own demands about the nuclear deal.

Nonetheless, he said that only delisting the IRGC can lead to a détente between Iran and the West. Falahatpisheh maintained that both countries should try to reduce tensions in the region as any delay will give an opportunity to “agitators such as Israel” and some “regional reactionaries” to bring about chaos in the region.

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