Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 7 July 2020

Britain, France and Germany urge Iran to reverse nuclear deal breaches

Three countries warn of ‘potentially severe proliferation implications’ of Tehran's actions

Centrifuge machines in the Natanz uranium enrichment facility in central Iran. AP
Centrifuge machines in the Natanz uranium enrichment facility in central Iran. AP

France, Britain and Germany said on Monday they would consider a dispute resolution clause in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that could lead to UN sanctions being reimposed for breaches of the pact.

The three countries warned Iran that its latest actions were hindering their efforts to defuse tensions in the region.

“We urge Iran to reverse all measures inconsistent with the agreement,” they said in a statement.

They said they were extremely concerned by Tehran's decision to resume uranium enrichment at the Fordow plant, although they stopped short of directly urging sanctions.

"Iran's action has potentially severe proliferation implications," the three countries said.

"We affirm our readiness to consider all mechanisms in the agreement, including the dispute resolution mechanism, to resolve the issues related to Iran's implementation of its commitments."

Iran is enriching uranium at its underground Fordow site and rapidly accelerating enrichment more broadly, a report by the UN nuclear watchdog found earlier on Monday.

It is the latest step by which it has breached the limits of the pact, in response to the US withdrawing from the accord and reimposing sanctions.

"We stand ready to continue our diplomatic efforts to create the conditions for, and to facilitate, the de-escalation of tension in the Middle East," the countries said.

"These efforts are, however, made increasingly difficult by Iran's latest actions."

German foreign minister Heiko Maas said: “I think now it’s time to make it clear to Iran that it can’t continue like this.

"Iran must fulfil its obligations laid out in the treaty. But the country isn’t doing that when Uranium is being enriched again. And that’s why we are going to reserve our right to use all mechanisms that this deal provides us with," he added.

"We want to keep the deal in place but that’s only possible if Iran fulfils its obligations, too.”

France, Britain and Germany also called on Iran to comply fully with the international atomic watchdog after one of its inspectors was detained in October.

Iran briefly held an inspector working for the International Atomic Energy Agency and seized her travel documents, in what appeared to be the first incident of its kind since the agreement.

Updated: November 12, 2019 02:15 AM



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