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European Powers Trigger Dispute Mechanism with Iran over Nuclear Deal Violations

The Iranian flag flutters in Vienna, Austria, March 4, 2019. (Leonhard Foeger/Reuters)

Germany, France and the United Kingdom on Monday triggered a dispute mechanism in the Iran nuclear deal in response to Iranian violations of production limits on enriched uranium.

The mechanism, built into the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between Iran and world powers, allows for a disputation process that will last 15 days. If no solution is agreed upon, Iran may face the reimposition of international sanctions.

“We have…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,” the foreign ministers of Germany, France, and the U.K. wrote in a joint statement. “The E3 remain fully committed to this diplomatic effort and intend to resume it as soon as conditions allow…Iran’s actions are inconsistent with the provisions of the nuclear agreement and have increasingly severe and non-reversible proliferation implications.”

Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif announced on January 5 that the country would be stepping back from certain components of the JCPOA, including restrictions on the number of nuclear centrifuges Iran is permitted to operate. The announcement came days after the U.S. killed senior Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in a drone strike.

President Trump took the U.S. out of the nuclear deal in May 2018, while Iran and other signatories to the agreement chose to retain the agreement.

“It is clear to me we cannot prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb, under the decaying and rotten structure of the current agreement,” the President said at the time. Trump has since ordered the imposition of various sanctions against Iran.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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