1116 GMT April 03, 2020
Secretary General of the European External Action Service Helga Schmid said on Tuesday that Europeans have a collective responsibility to preserve the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Schmid made the comments as the JCPOA Joint Commission is to convene in the Austria’s capital on Wednesday to oversee the implementation of the agreement.
“In Vienna to prepare first #JCPOA Joint Commission of 2020, to continue to oversee the implementation of the agreement. We have a collective responsibility to preserve the #IranDeal”, she twitted on Tuesday.
In a related development, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the meeting of JCPOA Joint Commission would be a chance to stop the escalation of tensions around the Iran nuclear deal.
"Tomorrow, Vienna should host the meeting of the Joint Commission of the JCPOA participants. This is a chance, although not a 100 percent one, but still a chance to stop the process of escalation until it is too late," Lavrov said at the Disarmament Conference in Geneva on Tuesday, according to Sputnik.
"The Joint Commission will be chaired on behalf of the EU High Representative Josep Borrell Fontelles by EEAS (European External Action Service) Secretary General Helga Maria Schmid and will be attended by representatives of China, France, Germany, Russia, United Kingdom, and Iran," the European Commission said in a statement on Monday.
Having failed to carry out their obligations toward Iran under the JECPOA, Britain, France, and Germany (EU3) accused Iran on Jan. 14 of violating the terms of the agreement and announced that they plan to trigger a dispute settlement mechanism that could eventually restore UN Security Council sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
However, Borrell said during a visit to Tehran on Feb. 4 that the European Union will extend indefinitely the time limit to resolve disputes in the Iran nuclear accord to avoid having to go to the UN Security Council or triggering new sanctions.
Iran signed the nuclear agreement with six world powers – namely the US, Germany, France, Britain, Russia, and China – in 2015. The deal was also ratified in the form of a UN Security Council resolution.
Iran remained fully compliant with the nuclear agreement for an entire year after the US pulled out of in May 2018 and reimposed tough sanctions, waiting for the European signatories to the deal to fulfill their end of the bargain by offsetting the impacts of American bans on the Iranian economy.
Since May 2019, Iran has progressively scaled back commitments in compliance with articles 26 and 36 of the agreement in response to the US sanctions and Europe's inability to circumvent them.
Iran says it is now producing uranium enriched beyond the 3.67 percent set by the agreement, and no longer adheres to the limit of 300 kilograms imposed on its enriched uranium stocks.
In a retaliatory measure, it has also resumed research and development that was restricted under the deal.