Britain, France and Germany trigger dispute mechanism over Iran nuclear deal

Cheryl Sanders
January 14, 2020

"Our hope is to bring Iran back into full compliance with its commitments under the JCPoA", they said.

The dispute will now be put to a Joint Commission comprising Iran, Russia, China, the three European powers, and the European Union and then on to the United Nations Security Council if that commission can not resolve it.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday called for US President Donald Trump to put forward a new agreement, in lieu of the existing Iran nuclear deal, that would guarantee Tehran can not acquire nuclear weapons.

Donald Trump has been pressing Europe to leave the nuclear deal ever since he unilaterally took the United States out of deal in May 2018, and the White House will be delighted that its sustained pressure has paid off. They are keen for it not to escalate to the stage where global sanctions are reintroduced.

Iran has gradually rolled back its commitments under the accord since the United States quit, arguing it has the right to do so because of Washington's actions.

The European signatories to a nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers in 2015 have triggered a diplomatic "dispute mechanism", in their strongest response yet to Tehran's steps away from the unravelling pact.

Iran has taken its five successive steps away from the deal because it says the European Union has not fulfilled its commitment to boost trade.

"Given recent events, it is all the more important that we do not add a nuclear proliferation crisis to the current escalation threatening the whole region", they said.

Following the assassination of powerful Army General, Qassem Soleimani, Iran has vowed to continue with its nuclear weapons.

The move came after the U.S. killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in an airstrike in Baghdad. President Trump is a great dealmaker, by his own account.

Iran has also said it will no longer observe any restrictions on its uranium enrichment programme.

European diplomats remain sceptical that Trump's policy of maximum economic pressure will persuade Iran to renegotiate the deal, but instead strengthen the position of hardliners in Tehran.

"At one point we have to show our credibility", said a European diplomat.

"Our intention is not to restore sanctions, but to resolve our differences through the very mechanism that was created in the deal", a second diplomat said.

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