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Nuclear agreement: Europeans trigger dispute settlement mechanism with Iran


Several European countries have triggered a dispute settlement mechanism in the conflict over the nuclear deal with Iran. "We could no longer leave the increasing Iranian violations of the nuclear agreement unanswered," said Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD). "After intensive consultations with France and the UK, we decided to trigger the dispute settlement mechanism provided for in the agreement."

The aim is to preserve the agreement and to find a diplomatic solution within the agreement. "We call on Iran to participate constructively in the negotiation process that is now beginning," said Maas. However, the government in Tehran is currently violating key requirements of the nuclear agreement, a joint statement by Maas and the foreign ministers of France and Great Britain said. This has "increasingly serious and irreversible consequences with regard to nuclear non-proliferation." Arbitration mechanism does not necessarily mean sanctions According to the nuclear agreement, any contracting partner can call the so-called Joint Commission if he believes that another partner is violating the agreement. The Commission then has 15 days to settle the dispute. However, it can also extend this period if all parties agree. If it is not extended, the case escalates, which can ultimately lead to the reinstatement of the UN sanctions against Iran – unless the UN Security Council decides against it.

In the past few weeks, European diplomatic circles have pointed out that the start of the mechanism does not mean that sanctions will return automatically, and after the United States' killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, the government in Tehran announced that it would quit the nuclear deal the EU once mediated between Iran and the United States, China, Russia, France, the United Kingdom and Germany. The nuclear deal has been on the brink since the United States unilaterally announced its exit from it in 2018 and later imposed harsh punitive measures against Iran.

In response, Iran has been failing to comply with the agreement since July. Most recently, the leadership in Tehran announced that it would no longer have to comply with the requirements regarding the amount and amount of uranium enrichment. However, Iran continues to follow the requirement to give the international community an insight into its nuclear program; US President Donald Trump's reason for withdrawing from the nuclear deal was, among other things, that it did not limit Iran's missile program or its ties to extremist organizations in the Middle East. The US president wants to use a "maximum pressure" policy to force Iran to negotiate such a comprehensive agreement.

The three European partners stressed that they had fully complied with their obligations, including the lifting of sanctions provided for. "In addition to the lifting of all sanctions stipulated by our contractual obligations, we have worked tirelessly to promote legitimate trade with Iran, also through the special purpose vehicle INSTEX." "Let's replace it with the Trump deal" The EU partners want the agreement absolutely save. Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson have already made clear how important it is in a joint statement. The Europeans take the view that the leadership in Tehran can be moved to further negotiations on the basis of a nuclear deal that is profitable for the Iranian economy. However, the US sanctions, which are aimed, among other things, at oil exports, which are vital for Iran, have negated the upswing caused by the 2015 nuclear deal and are damaging to the country's economy, but Johnson has also shown himself open to a new nuclear deal with Iran by U.S. President Trump. "If we get rid of it, let's replace it, and let's replace it with the Trump deal," Johnson told the BBC. "That would be a good way forward." He did not want a military conflict between Britain, the United States and Iran. "Let's screw it down."
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