BRUSSELS: EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, France, Germany and Britain urged Iran to stick to the 2015 nuclear agreement with major powers or face action which could include the reimposition of sanctions.
The three countries and Mogherini expressed concerns about Iran’s decision to resume low-grade uranium enrichment at its underground Fordow nuclear plant last week, saying the move was inconsistent with the accord.
“We affirm our readiness to consider all mechanisms in the JCPOA, including the dispute resolution mechanism, to resolve the issues related to Iran’s implementation of its JCPOA commitments,” they said, referring to the deal by its formal name.
Earlier on February 1, Britain, France and Germany had launched a trade mechanism to bypass US sanctions on Iran, drawing praise from Tehran – and a warning from Washington.
Brussels had hoped the long-awaited special payment system will help save the Iran nuclear deal by allowing Tehran to keep trading with EU companies despite Washington reimposing sanctions after President Donald Trump abruptly quit the accord last year. The three countries – the European signatories to the 2015 deal that curbed Tehran’s nuclear ambitions in return for sanctions relief – launched the device, which had been in preparation for months, at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Bucharest.
Meanwhile, Europeans have failed to fulfill their own commitments to Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted on Tuesday, in response to a warning by the EU that urged Tehran to stick to the pact or face consequences.
European countries have been trying to persuade Tehran to stick to the deal, under which it agreed to curbs on its nuclear program in return for the lifting of sanctions, despite a decision last year by U.S. President Donald Trump to abandon it.
Iran has long blamed the Europeans for failing to provide the economic benefits it was meant to receive under the deal, known as the JCPOA, and has begun steps to reduce commitments, including producing more enriched uranium than allowed.
Last week Iran resumed enrichment at its underground Fordow nuclear facility, banned under the deal.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and European parties to the deal – Britain, France and Germany – issued a statement on Monday urging Tehran to comply with the accord or face action which could include sanctions.