EU extends timeline for JCPOA dispute mechanism

TEHRAN, Jan. 24 (MNA) – The European Union will discuss ways to preserve the 2015 nuclear deal (JCPOA) and the possibility of triggering a dispute mechanism featured in it, but the issue needs more time, said the EU’s foreign policy chief.

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

"All agreed to pursue expert-level discussions addressing the concerns regarding nuclear implementation, as well as the wider impacts of the withdrawal of the United States from the JCPOA (the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) and its re-imposition of sanctions."

Britain, France, and Germany, collectively known as the E3, have formally triggered a dispute settlement mechanism featured in the JCPOA, a step that could lead to the restoration of UN sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

The JCPOA lifted nuclear-related sanctions imposed on Iran by the UN and some other signatories of the deal, particularly the US.

The Islamic Republic, in return, voluntarily changed some aspects of its nuclear program. The agreement was later ratified in the form of Security Council 2231, which terminated previous UN resolutions against the Islamic Republic.

Bowing to Washington’s pressure, the three remaining European signatories failed to protect Tehran’s business interests under the deal after the US’s withdrawal and started to tow Washington’s sanction line.

Consequently, Iran began in May 2019 to gradually reduce its commitments under the JCPOA to both retaliate for Washington’s departure and prompt the European trio to respect their obligations towards Tehran.

The E3, however, refuted the argument that Iran is entitled to reduce compliance with the JCPOA.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned this week that Tehran will leave the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) if EU takes Iran's nuclear to UN Security Council.

“The European’s statement is in no way legal. If the Europeans take another step, Iran will consider leaving the NPT according to a letter by the Iranian president in May 2019,” Zarif said.

He added that “if the Europeans continue to play more political games, we will have many options."

MNA/PR

News Code 154901

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