The three European signatories to the Iran Nuclear Deal have reiterated their opposition to the U.S.’ effort to use the snapback mechanism and return the U.N. sanctions against Tehran.

Iran PressEurope: In a joint statement issued at the I.A.E.A Board of Governors on September 16, 2020, on the verification of the JCPOA, Britain, France, and Germany said: “As previously noted, we regret the U.S. withdrawal. In regards to the U.S. letter to the U.N. Security Council referring to procedures under U.N.S.C.R 2231 on 20 August, we recall that the position expressed by E3 Foreign Ministers in their joint statement of 20 August is still valid.”

“As participants to the JCPOA, we reiterate our continued commitment to the preservation and full implementation of the nuclear agreement. The E3 has worked hard to preserve the agreement,” the statement added. 

“However, we are extremely concerned by Iran’s continued violation of its nuclear commitments under the JCPOA, which seriously undermines the non-proliferation benefits of the agreement. Some of these measures have irreversible consequences. This is why the E3, on 14 January, initiated the JCPOA’s Dispute Resolution Mechanism. We did so in good faith and in hope of finding a diplomatic way forward while preserving the agreement,” it said.

“We are deeply concerned by Iran’s announcement that it intends to install new advanced centrifuges at the Fuel Enrichment Plant at Natanz. This would increase Iran’s enrichment capacity and cross JCPOA limits on the types, number, and locations of centrifuges. We call on Iran to refrain from this step,” the E3 said.

Iran announced on May 8, 2019, one year after the US unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear deal and after proving the ineffectiveness of European solutions proposed to compensate for the economic consequences of the US withdrawal from the JCPOA, that it suspended part of its obligations under Articles 26 and 36 of the agreement.

Reducing Iran's final commitments in five steps, included raising its uranium enrichment rate from 3.67 percent, increasing its enriched uranium reserves, suspending all R&D commitments, resuming uranium enrichment, reprocessing at Fordow nuclear facilities, and lifting the limit on the number of centrifuges, which all have been implemented.

“We once again thank the IAEA for its latest report and welcome the rigorous and impartial implementation of its mandate by the Agency. We call on the Agency to continue to provide further detailed technical updates, as appropriate and would welcome a decision to make its latest quarterly report public,” the statement concluded.

On August 20, the United States notified the U.N. Security Council that it would reimpose multilateral sanctions on Iran for allegedly violating terms of the 2015 nuclear deal. 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo notified U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Security Council President Dian Triansyah Djani that the United States had triggered the so-called snapback mechanism negotiated as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). 

In New York, Pompeo declared that all U.N. sanctions suspended under the JCPOA would resume after 30 days. 

The United States faced immediate pushback from the five other parties to the agreement: Britain, France, Germany, China, and Russia. 

The three European (E3) parties to the agreement argued that the United States had no standing to trigger snapback since it had withdrawn from the historic accord in May 2018. 

“The U.S. ceased to be a participant to the JCPOA following their withdrawal from the deal,” the foreign ministers of the three countries said in a joint statement. “We cannot therefore support this action which is incompatible with our current efforts to support the JCPOA.” 


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