It is becoming increasingly clear that Europeans hold a weak hand on Iran that they must play as skillfully as possible. [...] A December 2019 meeting of experts and officials, convened by the European Leadership Network (ELN) in partnership with the Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF), weighed the options. These can loosely be grouped under the headings: Duck, Divert, Disrupt and/or Develop. This report considers each option in turn and offers recommendations for components of a future roadmap between Europe, Iran and the United States.
France, Germany, and the United Kingdom (the E3) initiated a new and uncertain phase in the Iran nuclear deal this week by triggering its Dispute Resolution Mechanism (DRM). They did so in response to Iran’s expansion of its nuclear programme, following the reimposition of crippling US sanctions on the country. This is an assertive move by the E3, but it is also a gamble that could save or sink the agreement. The E3 will have to manage the process very carefully if they intend not to “add a nuclear proliferation crisis to the current escalation threatening the whole region”, as they stated in their announcement on the decision.
2020-01-14Trump's EU Poodles - Germany, Britain And France - Obey His Order To Kill The Nuclear Deal With Iran
As the EU3 now triggered the process 65 days from now Iran is likely to be again under full UN sanctions. The EU3 will of course mealymouthed explain that they want Iran to pull back its program so that it does not exceed any limit of deal. But why should Iran do that as long as the EU3 follow US sanctions against Iran and implement them against it? The EU3 have no reasonable answer to that questions. Iran has no real incentive to stick to the JCPOA limits as long as sanctions are held up against it. When the UN sanctions snap back it is likely to leave the JCPOA even if China and Russia continue to trade with it. The outcome here is 100% predictable. UN sanctions will snap back. Then the Trump administration will relaunch the 'nuclear Iran' propaganda campaign and will threaten Iran with war. The EU countries who failed to hold up the deal will now globally be perceived as the poodles they are. The will, like the U.S., be seen as 'agreement incapable' countries who fail to stick to the deals they make. Their utterly servile behavior towards the U.S. is disastrous for their reputation.
2020-01-14Joint statement by the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and the United Kingdom on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action: 14
[…] We have therefore been left with no choice, given Iran’s actions, but to register today our concerns that Iran is not meeting its commitments under the JCPoA and to refer this matter to the Joint Commission under the Dispute Resolution Mechanism, as set out in paragraph 36 of the JCPoA. We do this in good faith with the overarching objective of preserving the JCPoA and in the sincere hope of finding a way forward to resolve the impasse through constructive diplomatic dialogue, while preserving the agreement and remaining within its framework. In doing so, our three countries are not joining a campaign to implement maximum pressure against Iran. Our hope is to bring Iran back into full compliance with its commitments under the JCPoA.
Prohibited by the supreme leader’s decree, nuclear weapons are inconsistent with Iran’s defensive doctrine, the country’s UN envoy said after Tehran announced the suspension of limits under the 2015 deal. […] There is “no place for nuclear weapons in Iran’s defensive doctrine,” he told PBS Newshour, adding that the country is also abiding by the Non-Proliferation Treaty – a 1968 pact that aims for nuclear disarmament and sets standards for arms control.
2020-01-06No, Iran didn’t exit the nuclear deal. And no, its nuclear announcement is not revenge for Soleimani.
On January 5, Iran made a major announcement regarding its nuclear program, stating that it will no longer observe limits on the number of centrifuges that it uses to enrich uranium. While the announcement is significant, it was not altogether unexpected. And it most certainly does not constitute the “harsh revenge” that Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, promised following the killing of Qasem Soleimani last week.
Iran and Russia have started the construction of a second reactor at Iran’s sole nuclear power plant in Bushehr on the Gulf coast. Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), and deputy chief of Russia’s nuclear agency Rosatom, Alexander Lokshin, launched the new stage at a ceremony where concrete was poured for the reactor base.
The United States has accused Iran of preparing "a rapid nuclear breakout" after it began pumping uranium gas into hundreds of centrifuges, another step that violates the landmark 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
Iran announced on 5 November that it is moving ahead with incremental breaches of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). According to President Hassan Rouhani, as of 6 November, Tehran will start “injecting [uranium hexafluoride] gas into the centrifuges in Fordow”, a bunkered enrichment facility that under the deal is meant to be converted “into a nuclear, physics and technology centre”. ...
In the context of recent developments, this paper reviews US President Donald Trump’s Iran strategy and explores possible pathways to a new nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic.