European countries want to make an effort to still hold Iran to the nuclear agreement that was concluded in 2015, but which the US left. The countries hope to de-escalate the conflict in the Persian Gulf.
France, Germany and the United Kingdom increased pressure on Iran on Tuesday to save the 2015 nuclear agreement. The three countries say they have “no other choice” to operate the so-called dispute mechanism to force Iran to adhere to the agreement.
In a joint statement, the countries say they still want to save the nuclear deal and also do not want to impose maximum sanctions, as the dispute settlement allows if Iran does not comply with the agreement. According to the dispute clause in the nuclear agreement (JCPOA), Iran is given 30 to a maximum of 60 days to return to the original agreements on the amount of uranium that the country may hold and enrich.
According to the Iranian Foreign Ministry, which previously blamed the EU for doing too little to save the nuclear deal after the United States unilaterally left it in 2018, Iran will “support any constructive attempt,” said spokesman Abbas Mousavi. The European countries have distanced themselves from the unilateral action of Trump but have failed to mitigate American sanctions for Iran, as they have promised. Iran therefore felt free to enrich more uranium than was permitted under the agreement.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also suggested Tuesday to adjust the agreement to the wishes of US President Trump. “Let’s work on replacing the JCPOA with a deal like Trump intends,” he told the BBC. The new European Union foreign chief, Josep Borrell, did not respond to Johnson’s suggestion at a press conference in Strasbourg and called the agreement a “major achievement” for which “there is no alternative.”
In Iran, a number of people were arrested on Tuesday for taking down the Ukrainian plane last Wednesday, killing 176 people. Iranian President Hassan Rohani said Tuesday to set up a special court to try the guilty.
Iran initially denied any involvement in the plane crash, but acknowledged on Saturday that the plane was “accidentally shot down” because the passenger plane was mistaken for an American cruise missile. On Iranian television, Rohani has called the tragic decision of Iranian air defense an “unforgivable mistake.” He promised a thorough investigation and appropriate penalties for the perpetrators.