Analysis

EU Supports JCPOA Despite Pulling Dispute Resolution Trigger

EU Supports JCPOA Despite Pulling Dispute Resolution Trigger

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EU Supports JCPOA Despite Pulling Dispute Resolution Trigger

The European Union’s top diplomat on Thursday underlined the bloc’s continued interest in preserving the 2015 nuclear deal after the three European parties triggered the agreement’s dispute resolution mechanism to address Iran’s compliance issue. 

Josep Borrell was discussing the latest developments around the nuclear agreement on Thursday with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif whom he met for the first time in his EU capacity in New Delhi. 

“[Upholding the deal] is now more important than ever, in light of the dangerous escalations in the Middle East and the [Persian] Gulf region,” he said, according to an EU statement published on EEAS.

The deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, has been unraveling since the United States pulled out and reimposed sanctions and Tehran responded by reducing its compliance. 

The heightened Tehran-Washington friction has recently taken on a military aspect, causing an escalation of tensions across the region. 

The European parties, which had taken fruitless steps to guarantee Iran’s jeopardized interests, finally referred Iran’s compliance issue to the JCPOA Joint Commission under the Dispute Resolution Mechanism on Tuesday, about a week after Iran took the final step of scaling back its commitments.

The process could culminate in the United Nations Security Council if not addressed, which could eventually lead to the so-called “snapback” of UN sanctions on Tehran.

In the “frank” dialogue with Borrell, Zarif described the recent move and European countries’ justifications as “objectionable”. 

He highlighted Europe’s “mistakes” and “inaction” regarding their commitments under JCPOA and demanded a correction of their approach toward Iran and the deal, ISNA reported.

Iran argues that it has already triggered the mechanism and reduced its compliance based on the provisions of the deal. It has also declared that all measures are immediately reversible once its economic problems are addressed. 

According to the EU statement, both partners agreed to remain in close touch and continue their engagement in the coming weeks.

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