By staff and agency

Borrell says EU has not discussed process leading to UN sanctions on Iran

January 11, 2020 - 20:26

Josep Borrell, the European Union foreign policy chief, has said that European Union foreign ministers did not consider on Friday triggering a dispute resolution process under the nuclear 2015 deal that could lead to renewed United Nations sanctions on Tehran.

“We haven’t discussed whether it should be triggered or not,” Reuters quoted him as saying.

He also said, “We are willing to maintain this deal and for that we need Iran to fulfill its commitments.”

Borrell said in December 2019 that the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, has benefits for Europe and efforts must be made to preserve it.

U.S. President Donald Trump quit the nuclear deal in May 2018 and introduced the harshest ever sanctions on Iran as part of his administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran.

Under the JCPOA, Iran promised to put limits on its nuclear activities in exchange for the termination of economic and financial sanctions.

Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, and Iran have been trying to salvage the pact. However, Europeans’ efforts to protect trade with Iran against the U.S. sanctions have yielded nothing concrete so far.

On May 8, exactly one year after the U.S. abandoned the deal, Tehran announced that its “strategic patience” is over and began to partially reduce its commitments to the agreement at bi-monthly intervals.

Iran’s moves are based on paragraph 36 of the JCPOA which “allows one side, under certain circumstances, to stop complying with the deal if the other side is out of compliance.”

In the first stage, Iran announced that it will not limit its stockpile of the nuclear fuel to 300 kilograms allowed under the deal. On that date (May 8) Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) said if the remaining parties to the JCPOA, especially Europeans, devise a mechanism to protect Iran from the sanctions’ effect in the two-month deadline it will reverse its decision.

But since European parties missed the deadline, on July 7 Iran announced that it has started enriching uranium to a higher purity than the 3.67%, thereby starting the second step.

Again, as Europe missed the second 60-day deadline, Iran moved to take the third step, removing a ban on nuclear research and development (R&D).

In the fourth step, which started on November 6, Iran began injecting uranium gas into 1,044 centrifuges at the Fordow nuclear site. It was done at the presence of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Iran on January 5 abandoned the remaining limits of the agreement.

In its fifth and final step in reducing commitments, Iran suspended all limits under the JCPOA.

NA/PA

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