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US Raises No Serious Argument for Withdrawal From JCPOA – Russian MP

© AP Photo / Vahid SalemiIranian demonstrators burn representations of the U.S. flag during a protest in front of the former U.S. Embassy in response to President Donald Trump's decision Tuesday to pull out of the nuclear deal and renew sanctions, in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, May 9, 2018
Iranian demonstrators burn representations of the U.S. flag during a protest in front of the former U.S. Embassy in response to President Donald Trump's decision Tuesday to pull out of the nuclear deal and renew sanctions, in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, May 9, 2018 - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The United States has not provided any serious argument in favor of withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal, Russian upper house speaker Valentina Matvienko said in an interview to Sputnik.

"We are wondering what the reason is, the argument for the US withdrawal from the agreement. But the world did not hear a single serious argument why this agreement should be scrapped, apart from claims that it is bad and it was signed by former [US] President Barack Obama,” Matvienko said.

The US decision to unilaterally withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the Iran nuclear deal, may be yet another attempt by Washington to subdue the EU economy, Matvienko said in the interview.

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"A number of experts believe, I think, not without good reason, that the withdrawal from this deal is yet another attempt by the United States to bring under control, to subdue the economy of the European Union. Because many European companies operate in Iran without violating anything, acting in compliance with the JCPOA. The same applies to Russian companies," Matvienko said.

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If parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action will support the US intention of scrapping the agreement and impose sanctions not only against Iran itself, but also against companies cooperating with the country, it will be a "catastrophe" and the beginning of a trade war, Valentina Matvienko said.

The upper house speaker expressed the hope that such a thing would not happen and all parties to the deal would remain committed to its implementation and preservation.

"I believe that Washington has demonstrated a monstrous lack of responsibility with such actions. It is impossible not to understand what will happen next – trust has been undermined, the factor of political unpredictability and instability of the agreements reached has emerged. What kind of atmosphere does it create ahead of the talks with North Korea, given that Iran concluded ironclad agreements, which can be suddenly scrapped by the will of one country?” Matvienko said.

The implementation of the bill on Moscow's response to the anti-Russian sanctions will impair a number of sectors of the US economy, Valentina Matvienko stated.

"Experience has shown that 'mirror' measures are the most tangible and effective… The law on counter-sanctions against the United States, which will soon be passed by the State Duma [lower house], the decisions that the government will take on it, will undoubtedly have such an effect. US companies, a number of sectors of the US economy will be affected," Matvienko said.

READ MORE: New US Ambassador to Berlin Pushes German Companies to Stop Trade With Iran

The Federation Council, the Russian upper house, will undoubtedly back the bill on countermeasures against the United States and its allies that have supported the anti-Moscow sanctions, Matviyenko said.

“I will not exaggerate if I say that this is perhaps our first law of such magnitude and strength in the area of countermeasures. Undoubtedly, the Federation Council will support,” Matviyenko said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel listens as President Donald Trump speaks during their joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, March 17, 2017 - Sputnik International
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“As regards the relations between Russia and the United Kingdom, they are, probably, at a historical low. I believe that as long as people, who promote Russophobia, who are obsessed with this anti-Russian policy, remain in power, we cannot count on improving relations in the near future. I mean Theresa May, her cabinet, and other people who are trying to take a lead in Russophobic politics, to contribute to the fight against Russia by such unscrupulous methods,” Matviyenko said.

"We are well aware of the importance of normal relations, constructive interaction between the United States and Russia for the entire world. And therefore we are ready to seize every opportunity to restore it," Matviyenko said.

The upper house speaker noted, however, that Russian lawmakers did not receive any response to their intentions, at least at the level of the US Congress senor officials and its committees.

Earlier, Trump announced the decision to withdraw from the JCPOA, which requires Tehran maintain a peaceful nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief and was signed in 2015.

On July 14, 2015, the European Union and the P5+1 group of countries — China, Germany, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States — signed the JCPOA with Iran.

Russian Lawmaker Detained in France

The Federation Council, the Russian upper house, continues to follow the situation around Russian businessman and businessman Suleiman Kerimov, who is facing charges in France, Matviyenko said.

"The Federation Council follows the situation around Suleiman Kerimov. We are provided with all necessary information. The Russian Foreign Ministry and the Russian Prosecutor General's Office continue to work on this," Matviyenko said.

Kerimov was detained in November at the Nice airport on suspicion of tax fraud and money laundering. The Russian lawmaker is reportedly suspected of purchasing luxury mansions in the French Riviera under fake names and at reduced price.

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