Russian President Vladimir Putin says his country will continue to support the 2015 Iran nuclear deal because the Islamic Republic has honored all of its commitments.
“All reports of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) say that Iran fully meets all its commitments. We are guided by these considerations and will back the deal, which was brokered under the previous US administration, although we had many differences on other issues," Putin said Wednesday, during a plenary session of the Russian Energy Week-2017 international forum.
Known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the landmark deal followed marathon talks between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries—the US, the UK, France, Russia, China and Germany—and went into effect in January last year.
The accord put some limitations on Iran’s peaceful nuclear program in exchange for the removal of all nuclear-related sanctions against the country.
While the JCPOA is widely viewed as a highlight of former US President Barack Obama’s eight years in office, his successor Donald Trump has spared no efforts to undermine it.
In his debut United Nations General Assembly speech last month, Trump denounced the deal as “a horrible agreement” and said Tehran was not “living up to the spirit” of it.
The American head of state’s claims contradicted with numerous IAEA reports that confirm Iran’s commitment to the terms of the agreement.
Putin said during his speech that only the IAEA, as an influential organization recognized by the world community, could determine what parties were in compliance with the deal.
"Now all countries meet their commitments... and we will support this deal," the Russian president said.
Russia handling Kurdistan situation with care
Elsewhere, Putin addressed the Iraqi Kurdistan region’s bid for independence from the Arab country, saying Moscow was handling the situation with care.
“Our statements are somewhat careful and cautious since we don’t want to aggravate or blow up the situation,” Putin argued. “Everything that is happening inside a country is its own affairs.”
Referring to threats by Turkey, a firm opponent of the secession bid, to block oil exports from the region, Putin cautioned against moves that would “affect global energy markets.”
“This will affect global energy markets, and the prices will go up. But I think few are interested in that, and therefore we should closely follow what happens in real life,” he added.
Defying international concerns about partitioning Iraq and undermining the ongoing fight against terrorist groups in the country, the Kurdistan Regional Government held a controversial independence referendum on September 25.
Anti-Russia sanctions harming global economy
The Russian leader also discussed the economic sanctions imposed on Russia by the US and its European allies, saying such “unilateral” sanctions are used for unfair competition and have global consequences.
"Some of our partners are using a number of restrictions, unilateral, financial and the so-called ‘sectoral’ sanctions, for unfair competition," the Russian president said.
"An adverse impact of such steps is evident for the world’s economy at large and for the whole global energy sector," he added.
The sanctions followed the 2014 reunification of the Crimean Peninsula with Russia in a referendum.
Double standards in war on terror
Putin also gave a separate speech on Wednesday in Krasnodar, where he discussed the global war on terror.
Pointing to the rising number of terror attacks across the world, he said the international community needed to abandon double standards and adopt an “integrated approach” in fighting terrorism.
"We support an integrated approach to countering terrorism, the spread of its ideology and funding illegal armed groups, as well as rejection of the double standard policy in the fight against the major modern threat," the Russian president said.
"We call on the global community to carry out key resolutions of the UN Security Council in this sphere," Putin noted.
The remarks came amid high tensions between Russia and the US over the latter's supposedly anti-terror campaign in Syria, which on many occasions has led to civilian casualties and destroyed the conflict-ridden country's infrastructure.