U.S. strategy of 'maximum pressure' on Iran won't work, says Russia
The U.S. strategy of imposing "maximum pressure" on Iran over that country's nuclear programme will not bring about the intended result, the Kremlin warned on Wednesday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that such a policy will only result in "one side being driven into a corner," the Kremlin said in comments carried by state news agency TASS.
"This never yields results. On the contrary, the settlement process comes to a standstill," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying.
The warning came a day after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo conducted his first visit to Russia as the top American diplomat for talks that focussed on Iran's nuclear programme and other points of contention.
Pompeo met with Putin and Russia's top diplomat, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi. All three expressed a desire to improve bilateral relations, which in recent years have been at their lowest point since the Cold War.
"We, from our side, have repeatedly said that we would like to fully restore relations," Putin said at the time. "I hope that now the necessary conditions will be created to that effect."
Iran, a Russian ally, announced last week it was partially withdrawing from a 2015 agreement intended to prevent it from building a nuclear bomb. The U.S. had also exited the deal.
Iran's leadership suggested it would commence uranium enrichment unless crippling economic sanctions against the country were removed.
Lavrov, who met Iran's top diplomat in Moscow as the Iranian announcement was made, blamed the U.S. for the deal falling apart, saying the "unacceptable situation" has emerged "because of the United States' irresponsible behaviour." (dpa)