World to lose important non-proliferation tool if U.S. quits Iran nuclear deal: Russian FM

Updated 2018-05-04 09:13:04 Xinhua

A possible United States withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal would be a huge blow in the fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday.

"If the U.S., as its president has repeatedly stated, announces its withdrawal from this agreement ... we all, the international community, will lose one of the most important tools that contributes to ensuring the non-proliferation regime for weapons of mass destruction," Lavrov said at a press conference.

President of the United States Donald Trump is expected to decide whether to leave the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as Iran nuclear deal, no later than May 12.

On July 14, 2015, Iran and six world powers: Russia, the United States, British, China, France and Germany agreed on the JCPOA, which would limit Iran's nuclear program in exchange for the removal of international sanctions.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu disclosed on Monday numerous files which he said have provided "conclusive evidence" of Iran developing nuclear weapons in breach of the deal.

Lavrov said that if Israel had really obtained such documents, then it should transfer them to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) immediately, the body responsible for the deal's implementation.

However, Lavrov said, judging from the comments of experts who participated in the deal's creation, the documents "may well be related to the previous activities already accounted for during the IAEA inspections."

Lavrov recalled that Russian President Vladimir Putin had repeatedly said, including during a recent phone conversation with Netanyahu, that the JCPOA had to be "strictly observed by all parties that signed it, especially because it was unconditionally approved by the United Nations Security Council."

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