Consider this a gauntlet thrown more than a huzzah cheered. Thanks to the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the Iran deal brokered by Barack Obama and John Kerry, Tehran has rejected compliance with the JCPOA. After the strike on Qassem Soleimani, Iran announced it would ramp up production of its nuclear materials, eliminating the last shreds of the agreement with its European partners.
That led the UK, France, and Germany to reluctantly and belatedly trigger the dispute mechanism within the JCPOA today. It’s the first step for the E-3 to reimpose sanctions on Iran, which would damage their already-collapsing economy even further:
France, Germany and the U.K. (the E3) in a joint statement informed the EU on Tuesday that they had set off the mechanism, which they say is aimed at saving the deal, also known as the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action).
The motion does not reimpose sanctions; rather, it appears to allow the E3 to officially “register our concerns” that Iran is not meeting its commitments under the deal. What concrete consequences the mechanism actually has is unclear.
“We do not accept the argument that Iran is entitled to reduce compliance with the JCPoA,” the statement read. “Iran’s actions are inconsistent with the provisions of the nuclear agreement and have increasingly severe and non-reversible proliferation implications.”
The statement went on to say that the E3 “have therefore been left with no choice, given Iran’s actions, but to register today our concerns that Iran is not meeting its commitments under the JCPoA and to refer this matter to the Joint Commission under the Dispute Resolution Mechanism” set out in the agreement.