WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States supports the movement of Europe to initiate the dispute mechanism in the Iran nuclear deal, the first US envoy for Iran told Reuters on Tuesday, but would like to see Europeans join Washington in their efforts for diplomatically isolating Tehran.
FILE PHOTO: Brian Hook, United States Special Representative for Iran, attends a press conference in London, Great Britain, June 28, 2019. REUTERS / Simon Dawson / File Photo
France, Britain and Germany formally activated the dispute mechanism in Iran’s nuclear agreement, the strongest step that Europeans have taken so far to enforce an agreement that requires Iran to reduce its nuclear program.
The president of the United States, Donald Trump, in 2018 abandoned the nuclear agreement reached with the predecessor Barack Obama, arguing that he was too weak and that the new sanctions would force Iran to accept stricter terms. Iran says it will not negotiate with the current sanctions.
“We support Europeans who initiate the dispute resolution mechanism. “What the president has asked is that they abandon the agreement and join us in our diplomacy to obtain a new agreement,” said Brian Hook, the United States special representative for Iran, in an interview.
The three European nations said they still wanted the 2015 nuclear agreement to succeed and that they would not join a US “maximum pressure” campaign.
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, expressed his willingness to replace it. “If we’re going to get rid of him, let’s replace him and replace him with the Trump agreement,” he said.
Hook said the United States was “very happy” that Johnson agreed with the US assessment, adding that there was not much left of the nuclear agreement with Iran.
Activating the mechanism amounts to formally accusing Iran of violating the terms of the agreement and could eventually lead to reimposing the UN sanctions that were lifted under the pact.
After withdrawing from the agreement with Iran, the United States revoked sanctions against Iran and gradually increased its “maximum pressure” campaign targeting the revenues of the Islamic Republic of oil, mining and other industries, and effectively scared countries so that Don’t do business with Tehran.
Tensions rose further after the United States this month killed Iran’s most powerful military commander in a drone attack after eye-to-eye exchanges between Washington and Tehran that began with the murder of an American contractor at a base in Iraq
Trump has been asking Europeans to do more against Iran, and the administration has been pressing European capitals to abandon the deal. Hook on Tuesday repeated that call.
“We hope that Europeans continue to hold Iran accountable. We would like you to join our diplomatic efforts, of diplomatic isolation and economic pressure, which are the conditions to reach a new and better agreement, “he said.
Humeyra Pamuk report; Edition of Chizu Nomiyama, Marguerita Choy and Jonathan Oatis