TEHRAN (Dispatches) -- Russia put on a united front with Iran against the United States and Europe Tuesday amid talks in Vienna on bringing Washington back into a troubled 2015 nuclear deal and removing sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
Iran and the remaining parties to the deal have been discussing how to remove the U.S. sanctions that then president Donald Trump reimposed when he quit the deal in 2018.
"We are counting on the fact that we will be able to save the agreement and that Washington will finally return to full and complete implementation of the corresponding UN resolution," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart Muhammad Javad Zarif after talks in Tehran.
Lavrov also blasted the European Union for slapping sanctions on eight Iranian security officials, saying that the blacklisting threatens current efforts to restore the deal.
"There is no coordination at the EU. The left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing," he said.
He stressed that "if this decision was taken voluntarily in the midst of negotiations in Vienna to save (the deal), then it is no longer unfortunate, it is a mistake worse than a crime".
In response to EU sanctions, Iran said Monday it is suspending cooperation with Europe on various fields including "terrorism, drug (trafficking) and refugees".
Zarif warned the U.S. that it would gain no extra leverage in Vienna through "acts of sabotage" and sanctions.
He also blasted the occupying regime of Israel, which Iran has accused of being behind a Sunday sabotage attack on its Natanz uranium enrichment facility, of having made a "very bad gamble".
"We have no problem with returning to implementing our JCPOA commitments," Zarif said using the formal acronym for the nuclear deal.
"But the Americans should know that neither sanctions nor acts of sabotage will give them negotiation tools and these acts will only make the situation more difficult for them."
Iran on Monday said that the Zionist regime had sabotaged its Natanz enrichment plant and vowed it would take "revenge" and ramp up its nuclear activities.
Zarif warned: "If (the Zionist regime) thought that they can stop Iran from following up on lifting sanctions from the Iranian people, then they made a very bad gamble.
"What they did in Natanz, they thought it would reduce Iran's leverage" in the talks in Vienna.
"But it makes it possible for Iran to legally, legitimately, and in order to make up for this terrorist stupidity, use any capacity it has at Natanz."
Zarif said Iran would make the enrichment plant "more powerful" by using advanced centrifuges.
Iran's foreign ministry spokesman said Monday that the centrifuges hit by the power blackout were first-generation ones, not more advanced models banned under the nuclear deal.
President Hassan Rouhani told Lavrov that allowing the Zionist regime a foothold in the Persian Gulf region is "dangerous,” given the fact that the regime is a "destabilizing and provocative” element.
Rouhani stressed that the security and stability of the region had to be maintained as he expressed Iran’s willingness to work with regional states toward that end.
The expansion of regional cooperation would be a strategic measure to counter the United States’ acts of unilateralism, he added.
Regional security, Rouhani said, is a matter for the regional countries to take care of, reaffirming the importance of the expanding defense and military cooperation between Iran and Russia since October last year, when a UN arms embargo on the country expired under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
Rouhani said Tehran and Moscow enjoy good political and regional cooperation, urging the two sides to bolster economic relations and accelerate the implementation of joint economic agreements and projects in the fields of oil, energy, and transportation.
Lavrov said there would be no limits to the expansion of cooperation between the two countries, including in the field of defense.