Kazem Gharib Abadi, Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (left), and Abbas Araghchi, a political deputy at the Iranian Foreign Ministry, arrive to discuss the 2015 JCPOA nuclear accord with European Union officials in Vienna on December 6. (Joe Klamar/AFP via Getty Images)

Europeans Trigger So-called Dispute Mechanism for Iran Nuclear Deal

Britain, France and Germany have taken a major step in seeking to enforce JCPOA, the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal designed to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. They triggered the accord’s so-called dispute mechanism on Tuesday. Essentially, this means putting Tehran on notice that the steps it has taken to move away from the limits imposed by the deal are serious enough to result in the reinstatement of European sanctions. The Iranians have been processing uranium to higher enrichment levels and larger stockpiles to protest against American sanctions imposed by Washington when it pulled out of the deal in 2018. London, Paris and Berlin have been trying to establish a barter mechanism that could help Tehran circumvent some of the sanctions, but only if it fully complies with the deal. “We do not accept the argument that Iran is entitled to reduce compliance with the JCPOA,” the countries announced in a joint statement, although they also said they were not quite prepared to revert to sanctions.

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