Monday, 20 January, 2020


France, Germany, UK pull diplomatic trigger on Iran deal dispute

An attendee wears a badge strip with the logo of Huawei and a sign for 5G at the World 5G Exhibition in Beijing China The US has accused Huawei and other Chinese companies of breaching sanctions on Iran
Bennie Garza | 14 January, 2020, 15:26

European powers have triggered a dispute mechanism over the nuclear deal with Iran, after the country took a further step back from its commitments.

"We do this in good faith with the overarching objective of preserving the JCPoA and in the honest hope of finding a way forward to resolve the impasse through constructive diplomatic dialogue", they said in the joint statement.

Noting the Trump administration's criticism of the current deal, Johnson said a new agreement was necessary to prevent Iran from developing nuclear arms.

The three European powers noted that the decision does not mean they are joining in US President Donald Trump's "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran - leaving a door open for diplomacy. He added that there is no alternative to the Iran nuclear deal.

Following the assassination of powerful Army General, Qassem Soleimani, Iran has vowed to continue with its nuclear weapons.

The United Kingdom, France and Germany, who along with Russian Federation and China remain parties to the deal, have called for Iran to return to "full compliance" with its agreements.

In a wide-ranging interview with BBC Breakfast's Dan Walker, his first major TV interview since the election, the PM said the two sides would start working on building a "fantastic new partnership" after the United Kingdom leaves the bloc on 31 January.

He said there was no need for Britain to have been informed before the attack: "This was not our operation".

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, right, greets then British foreign secretary Boris Johnson at the start of their meeting in Tehran, Iran, December 10, 2017.

Iran has also said it will no longer observe any restrictions on its uranium enrichment programme.

Following the US' decision to withdraw from the deal nearly two years ago, Iran began dropping its commitments under the deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

"The most important thing now is that tensions in the region calm down", he said.

"We do not accept the argument that Iran is entitled to reduce compliance with the JCPoA", France, Germany and the United Kingdom said in a joint statement on Tuesday, adding they had no choice but to trigger the process that could eventually lead to UN sanctions.

On the deal, he said: "If we're going to get rid of it, let's replace it and let's replace it with the Trump deal..."

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