Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke to reporters at the UN on Friday, warning that he believes the US withdrawing from the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran would mean the total collapse of the deal.
“This agreement cannot be implemented if one of the participants unilaterally steps out of it,” Lavrov warned, adding that he expects the Trump Administration to “try to convince the European states to take the same position.”
Having recently agreed to keep complying with the deal, President Trump said that the US will withdraw within four months if the rest of the world doesn’t agree to impose radical changes to the terms of the deal, including keeping restrictions on Iran’s civilian nuclear program in place permanently.
No other P5+1 nation has suggested willingness to consider Trump’s demands, and Iran has warned the deal is not renegotiable. Lavrov’s comments are Russia’s first suggestion the deal wouldn’t survive a US pullout.
Indeed, the EU nations, Russia, and China have all been in talks with Iran about the possibility of keeping the deal in place without the US. Lavrov’s suggestion that this is impossible is a surprising one.