Germany, France, UK Warn Against Collapse of JCPOA

Germany, France, UK Warn Against Collapse of JCPOAGermany, France, UK Warn Against Collapse of JCPOA
The European Union says it will act to protect the legitimate interests of their companies with all the means at their disposal

A senior parliamentary official said the US pullout from the 2015 nuclear agreement would remove constraints and allow Iran to ramp up its uranium enrichment program, a warning echoed by some European ambassadors to Washington.

“The only outcome of the US withdrawal from the JCPOA would be a boost in Iran’s enrichment capacity,” Chairman of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi told ISNA on Tuesday, using the deal’s formal tile, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

It went into force in January 2016 to remove sanctions in return for curbs on Tehran’s nuclear work, including capping its level of uranium enrichment below 3.67 and reducing its enriched uranium stockpile.

Uranium enriched to a high level can be used to make an atomic bomb and Iran insists its nuclear program is for civilian purposes.

“The Americans know well that if they decide to revoke JCPOA, we will revert to our previous [pre-deal] position with stronger force to showcase our capabilities in the area of enrichment for peaceful purposes,” Boroujerdi said.

Commenting on frequent anti-JCPOA tirades by hawkish US President Donald Trump, the lawmaker said, “Such remarks have been met with the protest of [other members of] P5+1.”

  Major Loss

Trump is weighing whether the deal serves US security interests as he faces a mid-October deadline for certifying that Iran is complying with the pact, a decision that could sink an agreement strongly supported by other world powers that negotiated it. The ambassadors to the United States from Britain, France and Germany, as well as the European Union, coordinator of nuclear negotiations, reiterated a warning about the collapse of the international agreement on Monday.

“We agree that the demise of this agreement would be a major loss,” David O‘Sullivan, the European Union’s envoy in Washington, said at an Atlantic Council panel discussion.

If Washington pulls out of the deal, the ambassadors said they would do everything possible to protect any company based in Europe that continues to do business with Iran from re-imposed US sanctions.

  EU Blocking Status

The European Union could take advantage of a statute dating back to the mid-1990s that would protect European companies from being penalized under the sanctions, O‘Sullivan said.

“We have the blocking statute ... which does offer legal protection to European companies which are threatened by the extraterritorial nature of US sanctions in certain circumstances. I have no doubt that if this scenario materializes, which it’s not clear it will, the European Union will act to protect the legitimate interests of our companies with all the means at our disposal.”

German Ambassador Peter Wittig said anyone advocating walking away should consider “larger issues”, including the danger of a nuclear arms race in an unstable region and impact on global nonproliferation efforts, Reuters reported.

“What kind of signal would this send to countries like North Korea?” Wittig asked. “It would send a signal that diplomacy is not reliable, that you can’t trust diplomatic agreements, and that would affect, I believe, our credibility in the West when we’re not honoring an agreement that Iran has not violated.”

French Ambassador Gerard Araud noted that the other countries that signed the pact-Russia, China and Iran-had made it clear that they do not support the renegotiation of the deal.


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