Iran has said European parties to the 2015 nuclear deal such as France could not trigger a dispute mechanism in the agreement that could lead to UN sanctions being reimposed. This came after French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian raised the possibility Wednesday of invoking the mechanism. The deal “does not allow the European parties to invoke the mechanism as Iran is exercising its legal right in response to the United States’ illegal and unilateral actions”, ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said, quoted by semi-official news agency ISNA.
The nuclear deal—known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA—has been unravelling since May 2018 when the United States unilaterally withdrew from it and began reimposing sanctions on Iran.
Iran’s economy has primarily been battered since the country has been locked in a standoff with the United States and its Gulf Arab allies since US President Donald Trump withdrew from a 2015 deal that gave it relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear programme.
The United States has imposed sanctions on Iran’s sovereign wealth fund, whose board of trustees includes President Hassan Rouhani, as well as Etemad Tejarate Pars, a company that the Treasury Department said had sent money internationally on behalf of Iran’s defence ministry.
The three European countries still party to the deal—Britain, France and Germany—have been trying to salvage it.
On Wednesday, Le Drian said that “every two months there is another notch (from Iran) to the extent that we are wondering today... about the implementation of the dispute resolution mechanism in the treaty”.
“Given the succession of actions taken by the Iranian authorities, who are progressively at odds with the contents of the JCPOA, the question comes up,” he added.
Mousavi hit out at what he called the “irresponsible and unconstructive” remarks.
“It extremely discredits the effectiveness of political initiatives for the whole implementation of the JCPOA by all sides in line with the system of lifting sanctions,” he said.
“The logic and the purpose of the mechanism for resolving anticipated issues in the JCPOA is to consider compensatory measures for both sides.
“Therefore... the JCPOA doesn’t allow the European parties to invoke the mechanism against the Islamic Republic of Iran’s legal right in response to the United States’ illegal and unilateral actions,” he added.
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