Published: Tue, January 14, 2020

European states trigger dispute mechanism in Iran nuclear deal

European states trigger dispute mechanism in Iran nuclear deal

The European diplomats said Britain, France and Germany would notify the European Union later on Tuesday that they were triggering the dispute resolution mechanism.

The accord - deemed at the time to be a landmark achievement - sought to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons in exchange for sanctions relief and global powers beginning to welcome the country back into the worldwide community.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday called on U.S. President Donald Trump to replace the Iranian nuclear deal with his own new agreement to ensure that the Islamic Republic did not get an atomic weapon.

Josep Borrell, the European Union's foreign policy chief, said the aim of the dispute mechanism was not to re-impose sanctions, but "to find a solution for the return to full compliance" with the deal, which was also signed by Russian Federation and China.

If the Security Council does not vote within 30 days to continue sanctions relief, sanctions in place under previous United Nations resolutions would be reimposed - known as a "snapback".

Officials described the move as one taken more in sorrow than anger and said it was in part prompted by fears that Iran may now be less than a year away from possessing the capacity to develop a nuclear bomb.

"Given recent events, it is all the more important that we do not add a nuclear proliferation crisis to the current escalation threatening the whole region", they said. The second diplomat said: "Our intention is not to restore sanctions, but to resolve our differences through the very mechanism that was created in the deal".

The United States killed Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force and architect of Iran's spreading military influence in the Middle East, in an air strike on Friday (3 December) at Baghdad airport, the Pentagon and Iran ... After days of denials, the Iranian authorities acknowledged responsibility for the crash, and have since faced days of anti-government demonstrations at home.

The diplomats said the decision was aimed at saving the deal by discussing with Iran what it should do to reverse decisions it had made.

"Let's replace it [JCPoA] with a Trump deal".

"If you get rid of this nuclear deal, the JCPOA, it's what Trump wants".

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