Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Zarif Accuses Major European Powers of Failing to Preserve Nuclear Deal

Zarif Accuses Major European Powers of Failing to Preserve Nuclear Deal

Sunday, 17 January, 2021 - 18:45
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. AP file photo

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif criticized on Sunday France, Germany and Britain - which remain in the 2015 nuclear deal with China and Russia - for failing to enforce the agreement since 2018, when US President Donald Trump abandoned it and restored harsh economic sanctions on Iran.

"E3 leaders — who rely on (the) signature of OFAC functionaries to carry out their obligations under JCPOA (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) — have done ZILCH to maintain JCPOA (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action)," Zarif tweeted.

US President-elect Joe Biden, who takes office on Jan. 20, has pledged to return the United States to the deal "if Iran resumes strict compliance" with the agreement that imposed strict curbs on its nuclear activities in return for the lifting of sanctions.

In reaction to Trump's "maximum pressure" policy, Iran has gradually breached many of the deal’s restrictions. But Tehran says it could quickly reverse those steps if Washington first lifts its sanctions.

Three European powers on Saturday warned Iran against starting work on uranium metal-based fuel for a research reactor, saying it contravened the 2015 nuclear deal and had serious military implications.

The UN nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, and Tehran said on Wednesday that Iran had started the work, the latest breach of its agreement with six major powers as it presses for a lifting of US sanctions.

“We strongly encourage Iran to end this activity, and return to full compliance with its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action without delay, if it is serious about preserving this agreement,” France, Britain and Germany said in a joint statement.

Editor Picks