Iran warns of 'strong response' if EU imposes sanctions

Iran’s foreign ministry fires back after EU signatories to nuclear deal launch dispute mechanism which could lead to sanctions.

Elad Benari ,

Iran sanctions
Iran sanctions
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Iran’s foreign ministry on Tuesday warned of a “serious and strong response” to a European move toward possible sanctions as the nuclear deal they negotiated unravels, The Associated Press reported.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said, however, that Iran is “fully ready to answer any good will and constructive effort” that preserves the nuclear deal.

The comment came after Britain, France and Germany launched a dispute mechanism against Iran under the 2015 nuclear deal, accusing Tehran of repeatedly violating the accord while insisting they remained committed to the agreement.

Iran announced last week that it will abandon the deal amid heightened tensions with the United States over the killing of Soleimani.

However, even before the elimination of Soleimani, Iran had been gradually scaling back its compliance with the 2015 deal in response to 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 mechanism launched by the Europeans on Tuesday allows two weeks for ministers to resolve any problems, although that period can be extended if all sides agree. If needed, an advisory board would have an extra 20 days to adjudicate.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a statement quoted by AP that the three European countries “could no longer leave the growing Iranian violations of the nuclear agreement unanswered.”

“Our goal is clear: we want to preserve the accord and come to a diplomatic solution within the agreement,” he added. “We will tackle this together with all partners in the agreement. We call on Iran to participate constructively in the negotiation process that is now beginning.”

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell insisted that the move does not mean that sanctions will automatically be reimposed.




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