Tehran has triggered a dispute resolution mechanism in the Iran nuclear deal, citing concerns over the implementation of the deal, according to the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.
“I have received today a letter from the Foreign Minister of Iran [Mohammad Javad Zarif] referring Iran’s concerns regarding implementation issues by France, Germany and the United Kingdom,” Borrell said in a statement Friday evening.
The deal — known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and signed by Iran, the United States, U.K., Germany, France, China and Russia in 2015 — has been unraveling since U.S. President Donald Trump’s unilateral decision to pull out in 2018. Tehran has since discarded key components of the nuclear deal, including a limit on centrifuges.
In January, the European architects of the deal triggered the dispute resolution mechanism provision in the accord, which is aimed at forcing Iran to return to compliance or potentially face the reimposition of international sanctions. They later suspended the action.
Iran has previously threatened to walk away from the deal, as well as from the global Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), but had not taken any steps in that direction.
The process triggered by Tehran on Friday entails at least two 15-day mediation periods, with the possibility of nearly indefinite extensions provided there is unanimous agreement between Iran and the remaining guarantors of the deal, including the Europeans plus China and Russia.
The EU’s top diplomat said that he remains “determined to continue working with the participants of the JCPOA and the international community to preserve [the deal].”
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