Iran has warned the UK, France and Germany of the “consequences” of their decision to launch a dispute mechanism against it under the 2015 nuclear deal.
European nations announced Tuesday that they have triggered the dispute mechanism under the fundamental nuclear deal in order to force Iran to honor its commitments under the deal.
But the move could mean the end of the deal and the imposition of further sanctions on Tehran.
“Of course, if Europeans … try to abuse [this process] they must also be prepared to accept the consequences, “said the Iranian Foreign Ministry in a statement.
Tehran suggested having little faith in the Europeans’ statement that they were determined to “work with all participants to preserve” the historic agreement.
“On the contrary, it signals once again to everyone – in particular to the three European states that are parties to the agreement – that they will respond seriously and firmly to any disloyalty, bad will or non-constructive action,” added the statement.
The United States unilaterally withdrew the multilateral nuclear agreement in May 2018 and reintroduced crippling sanctions against Iran.
Iran has long accused Europeans of denying promises to protect its economy from U.S. sanctions. Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi rejected the “completely passive action” of the three countries and said that Iran will support any act of “goodwill and constructive effort” to save the deal.
United Kingdom, France and Germany to activate the dispute mechanism in the Iranian nuclear deal
Following Washington’s decision to withdraw from the deal, Iran has begun to abandon its commitments under the nuclear deal, formally known as the global joint action plan.
On January 6, a few days after the assassination by the United States of a high Iranian general, Tehran took a further step by announcing that it would lift the limits on uranium enrichment, although it said it would continue to cooperate with the dog. United Nations nuclear guard.
The three European signatories now claim that they have no “choice” other than to activate the mechanism.
Russia – also a signatory to the agreement – condemned the EU’s move to challenge the Iranian nuclear deal.
“We do not rule out that reckless European actions could lead to a new escalation around the Iranian nuclear deal,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.
Ellie Geranmayeh, a prominent member of the European Foreign Relations Council, said that the start of the process “has started a new phase” with “considerable risk”.
He said the current impasse could only be resolved if Europeans presented Iran with an economic package to compensate for U.S. sanctions – which they have so far been unable to do to Tehran’s satisfaction.
On the other hand, Iran could respond to this “pressure tactic” by further intensifying its nuclear program and leaving the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which would be an “important turning point”, said Geranmayeh.
Ali Vaez, director of the project for Iran for the International Crisis Group, stressed that China and Russia have already suggested that they will not recognize the reimposition of UN sanctions, potentially leading to “deepening the cracks on this issue” .
“The snapback of UN sanctions could exhaust any influence Europe holds without producing any advantage and closing the doors to Europe’s ability to even mediate tensions between Iran and the United States,” he wrote.
Analysts argue that the United Nations sanctions that would be reintroduced would have a limited impact on the Iranian economy, already under severe strain for the measures taken by the United States since May 2018.
However, the issue is symbolically important because UN sanctions included an arms embargo, which will expire in October 2020.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in November that lifting the embargo was a “political and security goal” for Iran.
By contrast, the United States and its allies in the region have been keen to maintain the embargo, with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calling the October 2020 deadline a “countdown to terror”.
Al Jazeera and news agencies