Jan 21, 2020 06:21 Asia/Tehran [Updated: Jan 21, 2020 06:31 Asia/Tehran]
  • EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell
    EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell

The European Union's foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said the bloc does not intend to replace the Iran nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with a new agreement.

The E3 members of the JCPOA (Britain, France, and Germany) want to preserve the deal and do not want a replacement, he said at a news conference in Brussels upon conclusion of the EU foreign ministers meeting on Monday.

His comments were made after E3 triggered the dispute resolution mechanism in JCPOA following Iran's scale back from its obligations under the deal in retaliation of unilateral withdrawal of the US from the agreement and Europe's lack of action against re-imposition of US sanctions against Tehran.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson suggested a "Trump Deal" instead of the current agreement which Iran categorically rejected.

Borrell who is in charge of JCPOA's Commission said E3 has asked him to set the date on the dispute resolution mechanism but refrained from explaining the details saying the next steps will be discussed behind closed doors. "The only thing I can say is that we are continuing in touch with all participants," 

Iran has warned that if E3 sends JCPOA to the UN Security Council, Tehran will step out of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The EU's top diplomat said the agreement is an important element for stability in the Middle East and added consultations are underway for moving steps forward in the dispute.  

"We are discussing the way forward. It's not clear on the wording of the agreement, how to manage the date when the delay starts, and in any case — no, no it's not clear — and in any case, it's part of Annex 2 and this is supposed to be a part in which we have to work confidentially," he said.

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