The foreign ministers of the three countries issued a statement on Tuesday, saying that while they remain committed to the Joint Comprehensive Action Plan (JCPOA), as the agreement is formally known, the dispute mechanism described in paragraph 36 has been activated.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a statement that the three countries “could no longer leave the growing Iranian violations of the nuclear agreement unanswered.”
“After intensive consultations with France and Great Britain, we decided to activate the dispute resolution mechanism provided for in the agreement. Our objective is clear: we want to preserve the agreement and reach a diplomatic solution within the agreement,” said Maas.
Under the mechanism, the Joint Commission, which contains representatives of all signatories and is designed to safeguard the agreement, will now review the situation.
The commission will have 15 days to resolve the situation. If it cannot reach a consensus, the issue would be discussed by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the signatory countries and, if one of the parties requests it, by a special advisory board.
If there is still no agreement after another 20 days, the agreement could come to an end.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Tuesday that “if we are going to get rid of [the nuclear deal], then we need a replacement. “
“The problem with the agreement is that from the US perspective it is a faulty agreement, it is expired and it was also negotiated by President Obama and from his point of view it has many, many failures,” Johnson said, adding that it could be replaced “with the Trump agreement”.
“That is what we need to see and I think it will be a great way to go.”
The 2015 agreement was signed after two years of intense negotiations between China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. It was intended to limit Iran’s civil nuclear program and prevent it from developing nuclear weapons in exchange for sanctions relief.
However, US President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement and reintroduced economic sanctions against Iran in 2018. While the remaining parties said they were committed to keeping the agreement alive, Iran slowly began to resurrect its nuclear program. .
After the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad in an attack with US drones in early January, Tehran announced that “Iran will set its limits based on its technical needs.”
France, Germany and the United Kingdom have rejected the argument that Iran has the right to reduce compliance with the agreement. “Contrary to his statements, Iran has never triggered the [deal’s] Dispute resolution mechanism and has no legal basis to stop implementing the provisions of the agreement, “said his statement.
However, Europeans are under greater pressure on their determination to comply with the agreement. After Iran hit the bases that house US troops in Iraq in retaliation for the murder of Soleimani last week, Trump asked some of the nuclear agreement signatories to abandon the agreement.
He specifically called China, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom, five of the eight original signatories. The other three were the European Union, Iran and the United States.