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Germany, France, U.K. Refuse To Lift Sanctions on Iran as Part of Nuclear Deal

Sept. 16, 2023, (EIRNS)—Germany, France and the U.K. announced yesterday that they would not lift sanctions on Iran in accordance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the 2015 nuclear deal by which Iran agreed to restrictions on its nuclear program in return for the lifting of economic sanctions, and UN Security Council resolution 2131, which confirmed the JCPOA. In a joint statement, the three European allies known as E3, said they would retain their sanctions in a “direct response to Iran’s consistent and severe non-compliance” with the accord, reported the Associated Press. They claimed that Iran has violated the sanctions by developing and testing ballistic missiles and sending drones to Russia for its war on Ukraine. Therefore, they will keep the sanctions in place until Tehran “is fully compliant” with the deal, the E3 said. The sanctions, according to the agreement, are to expire on Oct. 18.

Iran, not surprisingly, denounced the decision of the E3. Iran’s Foreign Ministry said it considered it to be “an illegal measure,” and contrary to the trio’s commitments under the JCPOA and UNSC 2231, which endorsed the JCPOA. “The decision amounts to a tension-building measure, which is taken in bad faith,” read a ministry statement, reported Tasnim News. The Foreign Ministry statement rejected the allegations made by the E3—including their allegations that Iran has transferred drones to Russia, as well as, what the three call the likelihood that Tehran might provide Moscow with ballistic missiles. The Islamic Republic has roundly rejected both the allegations, citing its categorical rejection of the war, it said.

The three European countries have also accused Iran of violating the JCPOA, referring to a number of legal nuclear countermeasures that the Islamic Republic began to take after the United States illegally left the JCPOA in 2018 and the three states failed to offer any compensation for the U.S. withdrawal.

In Moscow, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova also denounced the E3 decision, seeing it as a deliberate violation of the JCPOA and UNSC 2231. “We strongly condemn the United Kingdom, Germany and France for seeking to deliberately violate the requirements of the JCPOA and United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231. If they get their way, it will deal a crushing blow to the prospects for restoring the nuclear deal. However, we would not like to think that the European attacks were more than accidental, given that they came at the exact moment when certain prerequisites appeared for intensifying efforts to restart the JCPOA, created by developments in the indirect dialogue between Iran and the United States.

“We urge the European parties to the JCPOA to immediately reverse their destructive course and adhere to their international obligations in strict compliance with UNSC Resolution 2231,” she said in a statement, released today.

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