Europe takes the first step to a possible rupture of the nuclear agreement with Iran

The historic international agreement to prevent Iran to have nuclear weapons is reeling. France, Germany and the United Kingdom, the three european powers, sign

Europe takes the first step to a possible rupture of the nuclear agreement with Iran

The historic international agreement to prevent Iran to have nuclear weapons is reeling. France, Germany and the United Kingdom, the three european powers, signatories of the covenant sealed in 2015, have turned on this Tuesday for the first time the so-called mechanism of resolution of disputes, an instrument that can lead to the abandonment of the agreement and the re of sanctions against Iran if the two parties do not resolve the differences.

Both the high representative of Foreign Policy of the EU, Josep Borrell, as the three european Governments (E3) involved have been assured that the goal is to preserve the agreement with Tehran, known as JCPoA (Comprehensive Plan of Action Set, technical name of the agreement). But the escalation of tension in the area since the murder of the general iranian Soleimani on the part of the united STATES and the downing of a commercial airliner in Ukrainian airport of the iranian capital with 176 victims has generated an instability that does not allow to rule out any outcome.

the united STATES, which withdrew from the agreement after the arrival of Donald Trump to the White House, pressed for Europe to abandon it. The british prime minister has assured this Tuesday that "if we are going to undo [the JCPoA], will have to be replaced by another, so that it could be for an agreement of Trump".

"don't we have another option, given the actions of Iran, register today our concern about the fact that Iran is not complying with the commitments set forth in the JCPoA and refer this matter to the Joint Committee of the Dispute Resolution Mechanism", have pointed out the Foreign ministers of France, Germany and the United Kingdom in a joint press release.

The first step towards a possible breaking of the agreement comes after the warning issued to Iran on Sunday by the French president, Emmanuel Macron; the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and british prime minister, Boris Johnson. The three leaders called on the iranian authorities to "return to full compliance with the agreement" and cease the violations of the commitments committed since July of 2019.

The latest violation, according to the european partners, was committed on the 5th of January (two days after the attack against Soleimani), when Iran was declared liberated from the restrictions laid down for its uranium enrichment program. That decision, according to Berlin, Paris and London, is the stimulus that has triggered the appeal to the dispute resolution mechanism.

The mechanism grants deadlines quite challenging to settle the differences. The Joint Commission has 15 days to make a first assessment, although this period may be extended by consensus. The review could be raised also at the ministerial level, with another 15 days for the ministers to stand. Or you could look for the verdict of a panel of ad hoc, formed by three members (one from each party plus a third independent). If the dispute is not resolved, the parties can abandon the agreement, and the record rises to the Security Council of the UN, which would restore the sanctions against Iran.

despite everything, the european powers show willing to do everything possible to preserve an agreement. Europe is not only seen as vital for the pact to prevent Iran provide nuclear weapons but considers him also as a witness essential to the order multilateral Trump seeks to destroy. The European Union hoped that Russia and China, the other signers of the JCPoA, to assist in saving the agreement.

Borrell, high representative of EU Foreign Policy, has pointed out that the intention is not to re-impose sanctions on the Islamic Republic, and that the nuclear agreement "is more important than ever," in addition to "having no alternative". The head of european diplomacy has underlined in a statement that he is in the role of coordinator of the Joint Commission charged with verifying the discrepancies between the signatories. And that the purpose of this mechanism is to resolve disputes within the agreement, as has been pointed out by the ministers of the E3 in their press release.

Since the departure of the US from the nuclear agreement, Iran has been increasing its capacity to enrich uranium above the limits set by the pact, intensifying the pressure on the EU.

Tehran announced last Sunday that it will respect its commitments in the framework of the nuclear deal signed with Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom and Germany five years ago, in particular the limits on enrichment of uranium, which can be used for the manufacture of a reactor and produce a nuclear weapon. Last July announced that it was to respect the limit of uranium enrichment (capado by the covenant to a 3,67%). However, according to the latest measures by the inspectors of the IAEA, has not gone to 4.5%, well below the 20% that was before the signature and of the 90% that is the degree of purity needed for an atomic bomb.

Updated Date: 14 January 2020, 14:00

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