World powers urge Iran to stop defying nuclear deal

World powers pressure Iran to reverse activities that violate the 2015 nuclear deal but stop short of triggering sanctions snapback.

Elad Benari, Canada ,

Diplomats meet in Vienna to discuss nuclear deal
Diplomats meet in Vienna to discuss nuclear deal

World powers pressured Iran on Friday to reverse its recent atomic activities that violate the 2015 nuclear deal, The Associated Press reports.

However, a Chinese official said the world powers stopped short of deciding on whether to proceed with a move that could see the case brought before the UN Security Council and a “snapback” of sanctions that had been lifted under the accord.

The official, Fu Cong, told reporters after the meeting in Vienna that brought together Iran with the five powers remaining in the deal that China had argued against invoking the so-called dispute resolution mechanism of the agreement.

“Iran has made it very clear that all the actions are reversible and that they are ready to come back to full compliance,” he told reporters, according to AP.

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.

Tehran's violations are an attempt to pressure the other world powers still signed to the deal — France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia — to offer new economic incentives to offset the effect of the American sanctions.

Iran has previously suggested it would walk back those activities if it receives the economic incentives it needs.

Iranian representative Abbas Araghchi told reporters following Friday’s meeting that he thought the world powers "are interested to find practical solutions so they can continue their economic cooperation with Iran."

“We see that seriousness amongst these countries, but of course there are problems and obstacles in the way,” he added.

European Union foreign policy official Helga Schmid, who chaired the meeting, tweeted that "we have a collective responsibility to preserve" the agreement. She said she “urged all participants to report back to their capitals as strong efforts are needed by all sides.”

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.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian last week raised the possibility of triggering a mechanism in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that could lead to the reimposition of UN sanctions in response to Iran’s violations of the agreement.

That mechanism is a month-long process, which could lead to the matter being brought before the UN Security Council and could result in the eventual "snapback" of sanctions that had been lifted under the deal.

Meanwhile, France, Germany and the United Kingdom told UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres this week that Iran has developed nuclear-capable ballistic missiles in violation of a UN Security Council call on Tehran not to undertake any activity related to such missiles.

A defiant Iran later told the United Nations in a letter of its own that it is determined to go ahead with its disputed ballistic missile program.

Iran has continuously test fired ballistic missiles in recent years, much to the dismay of the US, which says that Iran’s ballistic missile tests are a violation of UN Security Council resolution 2231, a resolution which enshrined the 2015 nuclear deal.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)