By staff and agency

EU’s Borrell: Europe to avoid taking Iran nuclear dispute to UN

February 5, 2020 - 0:14

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has said that the EU will extend indefinitely the time limit to resolve disputes in the 2015 nuclear deal to avoid having to go to the UN Security Council or triggering new sanctions.

“We are in agreement not to go directly to a strict time limit which would oblige (us) to go to the Security Council,” Reuters quoted him as saying during a visit to Tehran on Monday.

In his remarks, broadcast on Tuesday, he said, “The willingness is not to start a process that goes to the end of JCPOA, but to keep it alive.”

Borrell was notified in January by Paris, London and Berlin that they had triggered the dispute mechanism.

Borrell said on January 24 that he had extended the time available to discuss ways to save the nuclear deal.

“There is agreement that more time is needed due to the complexity of the issues involved. The timeline is therefore extended,” Borrell said in a statement.

In a separate with Borrell on Monday, President Hassan Rouhani criticized the EU for failing to honor its commitments under the JCPOA when the U.S. quit the deal and reinstituted sanctions on Iran.

Rouhani said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran is still ready to cooperate with the European Union for resolving issues, and at any time that the other side (EU) fully observes its commitments Iran will also return to its commitments.”

In May 2019 Iran started to reduce its commitments to the JCPOA at bi-monthly intervals in response to the abrogation of the pact by the U.S. coupled with the European Union’s inaction to shield Iran’s economy from sanctions.