Russia’s UN envoy says E3 were first to reduce their commitments

Tehran Times – Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s permanent representative to the Vienna-based international organizations, has said that the European Union trio, known as E3, were the first to reduce their commitments to the JCPOA under a pressure by Washington.

According to the 2015 nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Iran agreed to put limits on its nuclear activities in exchange for termination of economic and financial sanctions.

“E-3 explain triggering Dispute Resolution Mechanism by reduction of Iranian commitments under #JCPOA. They forget that E-3 were the first to reduce their economic commitments under US pressure,” he tweeted on Monday.

He also added, “It is high time for both sides to think about reciprocal steps to mitigate concerns.”

France, Germany and the United Kingdom issued a joint statement on January 14, announcing they have formally triggered the dispute mechanism that may lead to the snapback of UN sanctions against Iran.

In an interview with IRNA published on Saturday, Ulyanov warned the EU trio of the consequences of triggering the dispute mechanism.

“The Kremlin has negative view on this action of the three European countries,” he said.

“We have warned Western partners of negative consequences of this mechanism and such step.”

Russia’s Foreign Ministry announced on January 14 that Moscow sees no grounds to trigger the dispute mechanism, Reuters reported.

The activation of this mechanism may make it impossible to return to the implementation of the agreement, the ministry said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday that the decision adopted by the European Union trio is “worrisome”.

“The three European countries’ decision on the JCPOA and start of the dispute mechanism are worrisome,” IRNA quoted Lavrov as saying in a press conference.

He also noted that Iran’s nuclear activities are “transparent”, adding that Iran is being inspected more than any other country.

According to UrduPoint News, Lavrov also suggested holding a meeting on the JCPOA among its member countries in order to understand the future fate of the agreement.

“I think that it is necessary to hold some kind of meeting [on the JCPOA] in the near future in order to honestly understand the situation and understand who is thinking about what [on the deal],” he said.

U.S. President Donald Trump quit the nuclear deal in May 2018 and introduced the harshest ever sanctions in history on Iran as part of his administration’s “maximum pressure” strategy against Iran.

In response to this move, on May 8, 2019, Iran announced that its “strategic patience” is over and started to gradually reduce its commitments to the JCPOA at bi-monthly intervals. At the time Iran announced if the European parties to the deal take concrete steps to shield Iran’s economy from the U.S. sanctions it will reverse its decision.

However, seeing no action by the Europeans, on January 5 Iran took the last and final step by removing all limits on its nuclear activities.

Iran’s moves are based on paragraph 36 of the JCPOA which “allows one side, under certain circumstances, to stop complying with the deal if the other side is out of compliance.”

Despite taking the last step, Iran has reminded the Europeans to fulfill their commitments in order to keep the deal alive.