Europeans Facing Historic Test of Responsibility on 5th Anniversary of Inking N. Deal

Tuesday, July 14, 2020 - 08:03
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European signatory states of the nuclear deal of 2015 between Iran and 5+1 are now in a turning point of history, and their response to Washington’s misconduct will define the future role of the continental powers in coming global developments.

On July 14, 2015, representatives from Iran, the European Union, and the 5 permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) plus Germany concluded two years of negotiations with an agreement officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Almost 3 years later, US President Donald Trump who was after erasing any reference to the legacy of his predecessor Barak Obama, unilaterally withdrew Washington from the pact which was already endorsed by the UNSC Resolution 2231. At the time, the International Atomic Energy Agency had issued 10 reports by its then director General Yukiya Amano, confirming Iran’s full compliance with the nuclear deal.

An arms embargo imposed by the UN Security Council against Iran - in place since 2006/2007- will be lifted in October 2020, under the world body's Resolution 2231 that enshrined the JCPOA.

However, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, whose country is no longer a participant of the nuclear deal, said in April that Washington was considering “every possibility” to renew the ban on selling conventional arms to Iran.

He said the US administration was urging the E3 “to take action which is within their capacity today.”

“We'll work with the UN Security Council to extend that prohibition on those arms sales,” Pompeo continued, insisting that Washington is technically still a participant of the JCPOA despite Trump’s official withdrawal from the deal.

But later in the same day, European officials told CNN that the E3 – Britain, Germany and France - would not back the US call for renewing the embargo.

A European source stressed that the countries still in the agreement cannot support the US proposal because the arms embargo’s expiration is a formal and legal part of the treaty.

“You won’t see the E3 signing up for that because the arms embargo end is a legitimate part of the JCPOA,” he said.

With the date of the removal of the arms embargo nearing, Washington has shared with some members of the UN Security Council a draft resolution to prolong the embargo indefinitely.

Hours later, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Tehran must not give in to Washington's "provocations" in the Persian Gulf.

“We are urging maximum restraint and caution, not to give in to provocations and aggressive rhetoric,” she said at a press conference on Moscow.

“Moscow has always considered stability and security in the Persian Gulf to be a key factor that influences the situation in the wider regional context,” Zakharova added.

Zakharova’s stance was echoed by Russia's Permanent Representative to International Organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov who lambasted the US for trying to present Washington as still a participant to the nuclear deal, saying such attempts have “no future”.

"The US attempts to present itself as ‘JCPOA participant’ have no future. It is like common sense mockery. Those who invented this idea gave bad advice to US authorities. Cynical approaches must have their own limits in order not to compromise the national policy to the worst extent," Ulyanov said in a Tweet.

Last month, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said his country opposed any measure leading to exacerbation of tensions over the Iranian nuclear program.

He added that Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had recently sent letters to the UN secretary general and the rotating president of the Security Council to emphasize that the JCPOA, endorsed by Security Council Resolution 2231, is an "important outcome of multilateral diplomacy and a key element in international nuclear non-proliferation system."

Now, on the 5th anniversary of inking the deal, it is up to the 3 European signatory states of the agreement to join Russia and China in condemning Washington’s unilateral measures, reminding the bully that it is no longer a participant member of the JCPOA to trigger the snapback mechanism.

Compiled and edited by Yasser Nazifi Gilavan. @YNGilavan

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