A photo released by the Russians shows Bagher-Kani's meeting in Moscow on June 30, 2022

Iran's Nuclear Negotiator Tries To Defend Trip To Moscow

Monday, 07/04/2022

Iran’s nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri-Kani has tried to dispel criticism of his trip to Moscow following a failed talks with the US in Qatar, saying Russia has no Covid restrictions.

Bagheri-Kani’s immediate trip to Moscow after two days of indirect talks in Qatar with US envoy Rob Malley led to a lot of criticism in Iran by those who resent Moscow’s influence over Tehran and believe Russia is working against a nuclear agreement with Washington.

The trip was kept secret until Russian sources released the news and aphoto of Bagheri-Kani's meeting in Moscow.

Baghaeri Kani told reporters in Tehran on Monday that Iran has been consulting with all the parties to the 2015 nuclear agreement JCPOA, but “because the Russians have no Covid restrictions, sometimes they come and sometimes we go there.” He added that Chinese Covid restrictions make it harder to travel there.

Many newspapers and observers have criticized the Moscow trip after the failed talks.

Former deputy speaker of parliament Ali Motahari tweeted on Sunday that Tehran’s pro-Russia and pro-China policy has gotten to the point that “Russia’s foreign minister comes to Tehran before the Doha talks as if to say that although we are not there, the talks take place with our permission. And after the talks, Iran’s negotiating team immediately goes to Moscow to submit a report, before giving a report to the Iranian people.”

Motahari went on to say that Russia does not want the revival of JCPOA in order to prevent Iran from entering the global oil and gas market. “Unfortunately, our officials have tied our national interests to those of Russia,” he added.

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