The three European signatories of the Iran nuclear deal expressed on Tuesday their extreme concern about Iran’s violations of the agreement, which have undermined its objective to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, and called on Iran to comply with its commitments.
France, Germany, and the UK (the E3) said in a statement that they are “extremely concerned by Iran’s continued violation of its nuclear commitments under the JCPoA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known as Iran nuclear deal] which seriously undermines the non-proliferation benefits of the agreement.”
The E3 states remain committed “to the preservation and full implementation of the nuclear agreement” and have “worked hard to preserve it,” the three signatories stated, despite U.S. withdrawal from the agreement in 2018, which they said was regretable.
Iran’s Nuclear Activities
The E3 said that they triggered the mediation mechanism provisioned by the Iran nuclear deal in response to the Iranian violations in January, according to the statement.
Now, they are calling on Iran to refrain from its intention to “install new advanced centrifuges at the Fuel Enrichment Plant at Natanz” as “this would increase Iran’s enrichment capacity and cross JCPoA limits on the types, number, and locations of centrifuges.”
Iran has also amassed a stockpile of low-enriched uranium that roughly exceeds the limit set by the JCPoA by ten times, the statement said.
The E3 pointed to the fact that the U.N. nuclear watchdog has already reported that Iran is making preparations to install advanced centrifuges at a previously unused part of its pilot enrichment plant, contravening the nuclear deal.
JCPoA ‘Should be Broadened’: UK Foreign SecretaryUK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told the press after meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday that Iran must never be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon.
The UK shares the concerns of the United States regarding “the Iranian threat both on the nuclear side of things but also the wider destabilizing activities in the region,” Raab said. He also agreed that the JCPoA is not perfect and should be broadened. The UK “always welcomed the U.S. and indeed other efforts to broaden it,” he added.
The UK and the United States share the view “that the diplomatic door is open to Iran to negotiate a peaceful way forward. That decision, that choice is there for the leadership in Tehran to take,” Rabb said.
EU Trade with Iran
“But Iranian hardliners have prevented Iranian President Hassan Rouhani from adopting FATF standards, fearing that it will conflict with the regime’s illicit financing of terrorists and proxies abroad,” Abdelnour said.
“Even if Iran meets this condition, however, INSTEX will likely prove ineffective because circumventing the U.S. financial system doesn’t protect those who engage in illicit transactions with Iran either from detection or penalties,” he explained.