Europeans reject Iran’s nuclear deal ultimatum

Debriefer - News agencies
2019-05-09 | Since 2 Week

European Union

اضغط هنا لقراءة الخبر بالعربية

European signatories to the Iran nuclear agreement on Thursday reaffirmed their support for the deal, but rejected Tehran's two-month deadline.

On Wednesday, President Hassan Rouhani announced his country would stop complying with parts of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and said the deal's signatories should deliver on their promises to protect Iran's oil and banking sectors from U.S. sanctions within the next 60 days.

In a joint statement, the EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and the foreign ministers of France, Germany and the U.K. expressed concern over Rouhani's announcement.

"We strongly urge Iran to continue to implement its commitments under the JCPoA in full as it has done until now and to refrain from any escalatory steps," they said, while reiterating their own commitment to keeping the deal alive.

"We reject any ultimatums and we will assess Iran’s compliance on the basis of Iran’s performance regarding its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPoA and the NPT (Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons)," the statement continued.

Iran's compliance with the deal is assessed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is due to release a new report at the end of the month.

Along with the EU, France, Germany and the U.K., the deal's other signatories include China and Russia. The United States withdrew from the JCPOA last year and unilaterally reinstated sanctions against Iran.

On Wednesday evening, U.S. President Donald Trump signed off on new sanctions targeting Iran's metals industry.

In their statement, Mogherini and the foreign ministers said that they would continue to pursue "efforts to enable the continuation of legitimate trade with Iran," including going ahead with INSTEX — a payment mechanism set up by France, Germany and the U.K. to allow companies to do business with Iran, bypassing U.S. sanctions.

In a comment likely aimed at Washington, the statement concluded: "We call on countries not party to the JCPoA to refrain from taking any actions that impede the remaining parties’ ability to fully perform their commitments."

Norbert Röttgen, chairman of Germany's foreign affairs committee, told public broadcaster ZDF on Thursday morning that recent developments are a consequence of "an escalation spiral" started by the American withdrawal from the nuclear deal.

"We need a European initiative for the Middle East, which takes care of Iran and the region," he added. "We have a fundamental difference with the U.S. so we have to take this matter into our own hands."


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