In a statement on Friday, France, Germany and Britain said they are committed to finding a diplomatic solution to bring Iran back to full compliance with the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Iran's defiance of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) demand to be granted access to two disputed nuclear sites, the three European sides of the JCPOA have said, prevents the Agency from fulfilling its mandate so they had to initiate a resolution at the latest IAEA Board of Governors in this regard. The resolution was adopted with a very strong majority on Friday.
Reiterating that the troika is also committed to ensuring that Iran never develops a nuclear weapon, the statement said JCPOA plays "a key role" in this respect and that they regret the decision of the United States in May 2018 to withdraw from the JCPOA and re-impose sanctions on Iran.
Pointing out that the three countries launched a mechanism – the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) -- to facilitate legitimate trade with Iran despite U.S. sanctions, the statement maintained that they have gone even beyond the commitments required by the agreement to keep the JCOPA alive.
The three European powers, however, have expressed deep concern about the nuclear measures that Iran has taken since 2019 contrary to its commitments under the JCPOA. These measures, the statement says, "seriously undermine the non-proliferation benefits of the agreement" and urged Iran to reverse them.
The troika has urged Iran to pursue substantial discussions and actions in coordination with them and the other remaining JCPOA participants, Russia and China. "The E3 reaffirm they are ready to engage in a meaningful and realistic approach and await a constructive Iranian response," the statement added and said France, Britain and Germany will seek a ministerial meeting to urge Iran to cooperate and to "take stock" of where they stand in the dispute resolution mechanism (DRM) process.
Moreover, France, Britain and Germany have stressed that they believe the planned lifting of the U.N. conventional arms embargo in October would have "major implications for regional security and stability" and wish to address the issue in close coordination with Russia and China as remaining participants to the JCPOA and all other Security Council members and key stakeholders.
Referring to the U.S. efforts to trigger U.N. sanctions back, the statement says the three European countries "firmly believe" that any such unilateral attempt would have "serious adverse consequences in the UNSC". "We would not support such a decision which would be incompatible with our current efforts to preserve the JCPOA," they said and maintained that the strategy of "maximum pressure" will not effectively serve the goal of preventing destabilizing regional activities in the long term.