Germany, France, UK stress commitment to Iran deal

Press TV – The three European signatories to the Iran 2015 nuclear agreement reaffirm their resolve to save the deal despite America’s unilateral withdrawal from the accord, describing the agreement as a “vita pillar” of “collective security.”

“France, Germany and the United Kingdom stress their commitment to the full implementation of Security Council Resolution 2231 and the preservation of the JCPOA, which we believe contributes to reducing tensions in the region as well as global nuclear non-proliferation,” they said in a statement on Monday.

Resolution 2231 endorsed the multilateral nuclear accord, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was signed between Iran and six major world countries, including the United States, in 2015.

US President Donald Trump, however, pulled his country out of the JCPOA in May 2018 and re-imposed harsh sanctions against the Islamic Republic in defiance of global criticisms.

Critical of Washington’s move, the European parties to the JCPOA vowed efforts to keep the deal in place by protecting Tehran against the US sanctions.

The Europeans, however, failed to fulfill the promise, leaving the fate of the Iran deal hanging in the balance.

Resorting to the JCPOA’s articles on its rights, Tehran has reduced its commitments under the deal, setting a deadline for the Europeans to honor their end of the bargain.

The European statement further said, “We are committed to working hard for the full implementation of Security Council Resolution 2231 and urge all sides to do the same.”

“It is in everyone’s interests to show restraint and avoid any actions that would undermine this vital pillar of the non-proliferation regime and of our collective security,” it added.

The statement was issued at the end of a closed-door UN Security Council session, which had been called by the US to brief the 15-nation body on recent attacks on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf, which Washington blames on Tehran without offering any solid evidence to support the claim.

Another issue on the agenda of the session was Iran’s June 20 downing of a US spy drone, which violated Iranian airspace despite numerous warnings.

The US claims Tehran shot the surveillance drone down in international waters, but Iran has released the precise coordinates of the site where the intruding aircraft was hit and presented the world body with related documents, which prove Washington wrong.

European trio calls for de-escalation

The European trio — also members of the UN Security Council — further expressed grave concern over the increased tensions in the Persian Gulf, amid threats of military strikes by the United States against Iran.

The EU member states reiterated strong condemnation of the recent attacks on two oil tankers in the Sea of Oman and last month’s “sabotage attack” on four vessels off the Emirati port city of Fujairah as well as any threat to the safety of maritime traffic and peace and security in the region, said the statement.

“The attacks on tankers contravene international rules on freedom of navigation and maritime transport. They carry environmental risks. And they have the potential to further destabilize an already volatile region,” the statement read.

They warned against the risk of a conflict in the region, calling for de-escalation of tensions through dialog.

“These developments risk miscalculation and conflict. We call for de-escalation and dialogue, with full respect for international rules,” the Monday statement said.

Washington appeared to have failed to achieve the goal it was pursuing at the Security Council session: pushing the body to hold Iran accountable for the attacks.

After the closed-door talks, Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaibi of Kuwait, which currently holds the Council’s presidency, read out a mere informal statement on behalf of the body condemning the attacks on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf, without mentioning Iran.

Tehran has denounced the attacks, dismissing Washington’s claims of Iranian involvement in such incidents.

“The Council members urge concerned parties and all countries in the region to exercise maximum restraint and take measures and actions to reduce escalation and end tension,” he said.

The statement called for differences to be addressed “peacefully and through dialogue.”