Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi and EEAS Secretary General Helga Schmid attend a meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission in Vienna, Austria December 6, 2019. (Reuters)
France, Britain and Germany confirmed on Tuesday that they had triggered the dispute mechanism in the Iran nuclear deal given its ongoing violations, but said they were not joining the United States campaign to exert maximum pressure on Tehran.
“We have therefore been left with no choice, given Iran’s actions, but to register today our concerns that Iran is not meeting its commitments under the JCPOA (Iran deal) and to refer this matter to the Joint Commission under the Dispute Resolution Mechanism, as set out in paragraph 36 of the JCPOA,” the three European states said in a joint statement.
“We do not accept the argument that Iran is entitled to reduce compliance with the JCPOA,” the three countries said in a joint statement, saying they had no choice but to trigger the process that could eventually lead to UN sanctions.
“Instead of reversing course, Iran has chosen to further reduce compliance.”
Iran took a further step back from its commitments to the pact by announcing on Jan. 6 that it would scrap limits on enriching uranium, though it said it would continue cooperating with the UN nuclear watchdog.
“We do this in good faith with the overarching objective of preserving the JCPOA and in the sincere hope of finding a way forward to resolve the impasse through constructive diplomatic dialogue, while preserving the agreement and remaining within its framework,” they said.
In a bid to keep the door open for diplomacy, the three said they were not joining the United States campaign to implement maximum pressure against Iran.
“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.
Earlier, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday called on US President Donald Trump to replace the nuclear deal with his own new agreement to ensure that Tehran did not get an atomic weapon.
“If we’re going to get rid of it, let’s replace it and let’s replace it with the Trump deal,” Johnson said. “That would be a great way forward.”
“President Trump is a great deal maker, by his own account. Let’s work together to replace the JCPOA and get the Trump deal instead,” Johnson told the BBC.
Under the deal brokered in 2015, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran agreed with China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States, to restrict its nuclear program.
But in 2018, Trump pulled out of the deal. European powers have repeatedly said they still support the deal.
“If you get rid of this nuclear deal, the JCPOA, it’s what Trump wants. My point to our American friends is, look, somehow or other you’ve got to stop the Iranians acquiring a nuclear weapon,” Johnson said.
“From the American perspective, it’s a flawed agreement, it expires, plus it was negotiated by President (Barack) Obama. From their point of view it has many, many faults.”
Trump is confident he could still renegotiate a new nuclear deal with Tehran, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said earlier this month after Iran announced it would retreat further from the 2015 nuclear pact.
“I don’t want a military conflict between us, the United States and Iran, let’s dial this thing down,” Johnson said.
Source: Asharq AL-awsat