E3 made ‘strategic mistake’ on Iran nuclear pact: MP

January 21, 2020 - 20:53

TEHRAN — Spokesman of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee has slammed the three European countries’ decision to trigger the dispute mechanism under the Iran nuclear deal, saying the move was a “strategic mistake”.

Hossein Naqavi Hosseini said the decision by France, Britain, and Germany has been taken under the pressure of the Americans and will definitely damage the European countries’ prestige in the world, Tasnim reported on Tuesday.

Triggering the dispute mechanism does not have much effect on the process of Iran’s reduction of its obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), said Naqavi Hosseini.

The MP also said the European countries have begun “to take an adventurous course regarding the JCPOA and Iran’s nuclear activities, which would not be good for them in the end.”

France, Germany and the United Kingdom issued a joint statement on January 14, announcing they have formally triggered the dispute mechanism that may lead to the snapback of UN sanctions against Iran.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said later that day that the European Union trio, known as E3, was making a “strategic mistake” by triggering the dispute mechanism.

“Europeans’ action in using the dispute mechanism is baseless from legal point of view and strategic mistake from political point of view,” he said during a meeting with Niels Annen, a German foreign office minister, in New Delhi.

Zarif also criticized the Europeans’ failure to protect Iran’s interests under the JCPOA.

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

In response to this move, on May 8, 2019, Iran announced that its “strategic patience” is over and started to gradually reduce its commitments to the JCPOA at bi-monthly intervals. At the time Iran announced if the European parties to the deal take concrete steps to shield Iran’s economy from the U.S. sanctions it will reverse its decision.

However, seeing no action by the Europeans, on January 5 Iran took the last and final step by removing all limits on its nuclear activities.

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.”

Despite taking the last step, Iran has reminded the Europeans to fulfill their commitments in order to keep the deal alive.

MH/PA

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