Tuesday’s decision of the European powers, who say they remain committed to the 2015 nuclear agreement and are trying to save it, is their first significant response to the gradual escalation of their nuclear program in Tehran in recent months.
Britain, France and Germany, which are part of the 2015 agreement, activated a dispute resolution mechanism written in the agreement. That mechanism could result in the United Nations Security Council re-imposing international sanctions on the economy, banks and some senior officials of Iran within two months.
However, according to the agreement, Europeans can suspend this process on several points, which means that discussions about possible sanctions could go on for months.
The measure comes amid strong tensions between Iran and the West following the assassination of a high-ranking Iranian general and Tehran’s attacks on military bases in Iraq that house US troops. President
who withdrew the United States from the nuclear agreement in May 2018, urged last week to Britain, France and Germany to also abandon the agreement after the attacks.
Instead, the European powers are using the dispute mechanism, which allows a period of direct talks to pressure Iran not to continue violating the agreement.
Earlier this month, Iran said it would no longer comply with the restrictions imposed by the agreement on its production of enriched uranium, which can be used as fuel for a nuclear weapon.
Iran has been gradually reducing its commitments to the nuclear agreement since last May. Iranian authorities say their movements were in response to Europe’s failure to protect them from the impact of the withering sanctions imposed by the United States after President Trump withdrew from the nuclear agreement in 2018.
However, Iran continues to allow monitoring by the UN nuclear agency and is complying with some other restrictions in the agreement. European diplomats hope that by pressing Tehran, it will not quickly back off to accumulate enough nuclear fuel for a weapon or try to avoid a crisis by entering into talks directly with the US. UU. Some hope that the dispute mechanism process can continue for months, leaving the agreement in tact at the time of the US presidential elections in November.
The foreign ministers of the three European powers said Tuesday they are taking the step due to the “increasingly severe and non-reversible proliferation implications” of Iran.
However, they said they made the decision “with the general objective of preserving the” agreement. They criticized the US exit of the agreement and said in the statement that they would not join the “Washington campaign to implement maximum pressure against Iran.”
On Monday night, the Iranian Foreign Minister
He attacked the three European countries, accusing them of intimidating Iran and following Washington’s “dictation” on Iran’s policy.
“E3 can save [the nuclear deal] but not appeasing the stalker and pressuring the part he does, “he wrote.
U.S. sanctions UU. They have already caused a sharp contraction of the Iranian economy and have led European and global companies to leave Iran.
The reintroduction of international sanctions could paralyze the remaining trade that Iran is doing with countries such as China, Russia and Japan. It would also mean that an arms embargo against Tehran, which expires under the nuclear agreement, would be maintained in October.
Iran says its nuclear program is for completely peaceful purposes. Trump has said he would ensure that Tehran does not develop a nuclear weapon under his supervision.
Before Trump left the nuclear agreement, US and European officials held months of discussions on ways to strengthen the 2015 agreement, including the possibility of demanding permanent restrictions on Iran’s nuclear activities after 2025. US officials also want The agreement includes a ban on Iran’s ballistic missile work and limitations on Tehran’s interference in its region.
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Tuesday morning went as far as a European leader has come to suggest that the agreement with Iran should be replaced in the near future.
“Let’s work together to replace the JCPOA and get the Trump deal,” Johnson said in an interview with British Broadcasting Corp., using the formal acronym for the 2015 nuclear deal.
However, given that Britain summoned the Iranian ambassador on Monday for the brief arrest of his envoy in Tehran on Sunday, Johnson said the priority for Britain and other European powers was to reduce tensions with Iran and avoid conflict.
“The most important thing is that tensions in the region calm down,” he said. “Let me be very clear, I don’t want a military conflict between us, the United States and Iran. Let’s mark this.”
Write to Laurence Norman at [email protected]
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