The EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, has declared that the remaining parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, widely known as the Iran nuclear deal, have not detected any significant non-compliance by Tehran and will not at this time enforce the accord’s dispute mechanism that could lead to the reimposition of United Nations sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
Earlier in July, Iran violated the accord by enriching uranium to 4.5% fissile purity, well above the 3.67% limit set by the 2015 deal, and exceeding limits on its stock of low-enriched uranium, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the IAEA, but the breach is not seen by the European signatories, as well as Russia or China, as enough to trigger the mechanism.
“For the time being, none of the parties to the agreement has signalled their intention to invoke this article,” said Mogherini after the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels. “None of them, for the time being, and with the current data that we have from the IAEA indicate that the non-compliance is considered to be significant.”
Any party can call the Joint Commission when commitments are not upheld by the deal’s remaining guarantors – Russia, China, the UK, France, and Germany. The United States had been the key backer of the deal, but Washington pulled out of the accord in 2018 after the White House accused Iran of violating the spirit of the deal due to Tehran’s continued military and financial support for terrorist groups in the Middle East, including Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas, Yemen’s Houthi rebels, and dozens of anti-Western Shi’ite and anti-Israel militias in Iraq.
Mogherini has insisted that the EU use its diplomatic efforts to help save the agreement “The deal is not in good health, but it’s still alive,” Mogherini said. “We hope and we invite Iran to reverse these steps and go back to full compliance with the agreement,” before adding, “Even if I think this is the most dramatic and difficult time, I also think that today everybody realizes that not having the JCPOA ( the Iran nuclear deal) in place would be a terrible option for everybody.”
Recent events in the Persian Gulf, which saw naval detachments of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps damage several internationally-flagged oil tankers travelling through the Strait of Hormuz. Most recently, the United Kingdom said it had thwarted an Iranian attempt to block a British tanker from proceeding in the Strait.