Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has argued that preserving the Iran nuclear deal is essential to move forward with a diplomatic approach on the Korean peninsula.
Responding to U.S. President Donald Trump's recent criticisms of the 2015 nuclear agreement and threats to withdraw from it, Lavrov said that destroying the agreement would be detrimental to international trust and future negotiations.
“If the agreement on the Iranian nuclear problem fails, North Korea will say: why should we negotiate with you, if you're unable to do so?” Lavrov said while speaking to press in New York while attending the United Nations General Assembly.
“The Iran program is in a complete state, it was approved in a United Nations Security Council resolution, and dissecting this program is equal to destroying everything achieved. Everyone understands that,” the diplomat continued.
He encouraged a diplomatic approach within existing agreement frameworks to deal with any disagreements or international concerns.
“If the United States has any worries about Iran, or somebody else has any concerns, these concerns should be resolved within the formats tailored for the purpose,” Lavrov said.
Lavrov's points echo similar statements made by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who said at the United Nations that the United States' threats against the deal would destroy any remaining trust the international community has in negotiations with the United States. The deal, for Iran, is not able to be renegotiated on different terms.
Regarding the current tensions engulfing the Korean peninsula, Lavrov also encouraged adherence and pursuit of China and Russia's original proposal, which would entail a ceasing of U.S. and South Korean military exercises in exchange for the stopping of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's nuclear and missile tests.
Although China and Russia's “dual-stop” plan has been widely supported and upheld internationally as a path toward a diplomatic solution, the United States has rejected it as a possibility.
Lavrov however, has said the U.S.'s excuses for not pursuing the proposal are inadequate. “We hear no explainable reasons why our western partners, including the U.S., cannot do this,” he said.