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EU Favors Open Timeframe to Resolve JCPOA Dispute

Borrell said the European parties insist that the launch of the dispute mechanism is not a measure to finish off the nuclear deal, but to keep it alive
EU Favors Open Timeframe to Resolve JCPOA DisputeEU Favors Open Timeframe to Resolve JCPOA Dispute

The European Union foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said the European parties to the 2015 nuclear deal, which have activated its dispute resolution mechanism, do not intend to strictly follow its time limit. 
"We are all in agreement not to go directly to a strict time limit that would oblige us to go to the United Nations Security Council," he said during a press conference on Tuesday after meeting Iranian officials in Tehran, EEAS reported. 
The three European countries, France, Germany and Britain, triggered the nuclear deal's dispute resolution mechanism in mid-January after Iran took a final step away from its obligations. 
Iran's measure was based on the provisions of the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and in response to the United States' withdrawal and reimposition of sanctions as well as European parties' failure to make up for the effects of the American economic pressure. 
Under the dispute mechanism, if the issue remains unresolved within the determined timeframe, it would go to the UN Security Council where global sanctions could be restored against Tehran. 
They, however, extended the timeline in late January as they agreed that more time was needed due to the complexity of the issues involved.

 

 

No Will to Kill the Deal 

“I have been talking with them … All of them insisted that this is not a measure oriented to finish with the deal, but to try to keep it alive, to give time for negotiation,” Borrell said. 
He added that the JCPOA parties expect some positive steps on the nuclear side and Iranians expect some positive aspects on the economic side. 
“That is what we are going to try to deal within the next weeks … or more,” he said. 
The EU representative, who was on his first trip to Iran in this capacity, met President Hassan Rouhani, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani during his visit to discuss regional security issues and the nuclear deal. 
Borrell said he asked the Iranian authorities to continue to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency’s surveillance, “which is the only one that can certify what is the real state of Iran's nuclear development”.
Rouhani said during his meeting with the EU official that Iran remains committed to working with IAEA inspectors and its cooperation will continue "unless we face new circumstances", President.ir reported.
Iranian officials have said that ceasing cooperation with IAEA is among their options to react to the so-called "snapback" of UN sanctions by the Security Council. 
They have, however, stressed that the nature of Iran's nuclear programs will remain peaceful because it has never sought to build an atomic bomb.
In talks with Rouhani, Borrell called for efforts to remove any obstacle to JCPOA's implementation by all parties.
"European countries today are after preserving JCPOA and dealing with any issue to keep it in place," he said. 
He also vowed to use all in his power as the EU foreign policy chief to foster an effective cooperation to save the deal.
Rouhani explained that Tehran's reduction of compliance has been within the deal's framework and aimed at preserving it.
He underlined Iran's adherence to its obligations and criticized the other parties for not fulfilling their commitments completely.
"Iran is ready to work with the EU to resolve the issues and once they fully meet their commitments, Iran will return to its [full] compliance," Rouhani said.

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