France could reimpose sanctions on Iran

French Foreign Minister says his country could trigger mechanism in 2015 deal that could lead to the reimposition of UN sanctions.

Elad Benari ,

Jean-Yves Le Drian
Jean-Yves Le Drian

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Wednesday raised the possibility of triggering a mechanism in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that could lead to the reimposition of UN sanctions, AFP reports.

Le Drian's comments, made to the National Assembly's foreign affairs committee, came as Iran continues to disregard elements of the deal and escalating tension in the Gulf region.

"Every two months there is another notch (from Iran) to the extent that we are wondering today, and I say very clearly, about the implementation of the dispute resolution mechanism in the treaty," he was quoted as having told the lawmakers.

"Given the succession of actions taken by the Iranian authorities, who are progressively at odds with the contents of the JCPOA (the nuclear deal), the question comes up," added Le Drian.

Iran has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal in response to US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in May of 2018.

Most recently, the Islamic Republic restarted uranium enrichment at the underground Fordow facility in violation of the deal.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said earlier this month the Islamic Republic breached another limit of its 2015 nuclear deal with major powers by accumulating slightly more than 130 tons of heavy water.

Britain, France and Germany have been trying to save the nuclear deal and have vowed to help Iran evade the economic sanctions imposed by the US, shielding companies doing business with the rogue state in an effort to preserve the Iran nuclear deal.

Le Drian, in his comments to the committee, appeared pessimistic that France's efforts to save the agreement would succeed.

French President Emmanuel Macron has been trying to organized a meeting between Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, but so far without success.

"The efforts at de-escalation that we have attempted, that the President of the Republic has attempted on several occasions, have not come to anything for a whole series of reasons," Le Drian said on Wednesday, according to AFP.

Iran's detention in June of two French researchers, anthropologists Fariba Adelkah and Roland Marchal, had not helped matters, he added, nor had Iran's activities in the region.

Since May, tensions in the Gulf have escalated following a string of attacks on oil tankers that the United States and its allies blamed on Tehran. The Islamic Republic denies the charges.