Iran nuclear deal: European powers triggered dispute mechanism

Elias Hubbard
January 14, 2020

The accord - deemed at the time to be a landmark achievement - sought to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons in exchange for sanctions relief and global powers beginning to welcome the country back into the worldwide community.

But Washington has reimposed sanctions, denying Iran most of the economic benefits. Iran has responded by gradually exceeding numerous limitations it had signed up to in the deal.

In an apparent bid to keep the door open for diplomacy, the three European signatories - known as the E3 - said they were not joining the U.S. campaign to implement "maximum pressure" against Iran.

The six signatories to the deal, Iran, Russia, China and the European Union states, France Germany and the United Kingdom, will now meet at political director level in Vienna to hear formally that Iran's steps away from the deal have required the European Union to trigger the deal's elaborate dispute resolution mechanism.

If the Security Council does not vote within 30 days to continue sanctions relief, sanctions in place under previous United Nations resolutions would be reimposed - known as a "snapback". "My point to our American friends is, look, somehow or other you've got to stop the Iranians acquiring a nuclear weapon", Johnson said. The second diplomat said: "Our intention is not to restore sanctions, but to resolve our differences through the very mechanism that was created in the deal".

Last Sunday, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a joint statement that they remained committed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and urged Tehran to cancel all measures that go against the Iran nuclear deal.

On 8 January Iran accidentally shot down a Ukrainian airliner while its forces were on high alert following strikes on USA targets.

"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.

It has said it is responding to sanctions reinstated by the United States when it withdrew from the accord in 2018. President Trump is a great dealmaker, by his own account. "Let's work together to replace the JCPOA and get the Trump deal instead".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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