The EU-3, (France, UK and Germany), did not trigger a mechanism that could return all the international sanctions against Tehran for its breach of the terms of the nuclear deal with world powers, said a Chinese envoy at the JCPOA meeting in Vienna on Friday December 6.
The decision was made to avoid further complication in the situation regarding Iran's nuclear deal, said Fu Cong, a Chinese Foreign Ministry official. However, all parties called on Iran to remain in full compliance of the deal.
The five remaining signatories to the faltering nuclear deal with Iran met with an Iranian delegation in Vienna in a bid to save the accord.
The meeting was also held to discuss whether it is time to activate the trigger mechanism that would return all the international sanctions on Iran and hand over Tehran's nuclear dossier to the United Nations Security Council as a countermeasure against the breach of the deal by Iran.
This was the first meeting by representatives from Iran, UK, France, Germany, Russia and China since July. The United States left the deal in May 2018 calling for a new comprehensive agreement that would also limit Iran's ballistic missile development program as well as its regional ambitions.
Iran has been distancing itself from the nuclear deal since May 2019 when it started to reduce its commitments under the JCPOA despite warnings by the deal's European partners.
In a gradual way, Iran exceeded the limits on the amount and degree of Uranium enrichment it was allowed to do under the JCPOA and launched new cascades of modern centrifuges that boosted its enrichment capability.
The venue of the meeting was changed at the last moment as the Iranian delegation threatened to leave because Iranian opposition groups were protesting outside Hotel Palais Coburg in Vienna against the Tehran regime's brutal treatment of the recent protests in Iran.
The meeting was finally held at one of the EU offices in Vienna.
On Wednesday, UK, French and German ambassadors to the UN wrote a letter to UN Chief Antonio Guterres complaining about the inconsistency of Iran's ballistic missile development program with its commitments under the nuclear deal with the P5+1.
Observers have been warning for months that Iran's breach of its nuclear obligations could result in returning all international sanctions including those imposed by the UN in the years before the 2015 nuclear deal.
The EU trio has also raised the issue of Iran’s ballistic missile development capable of carrying nuclear warheads in breach of the 2015 nuclear accord also called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The EU-3 presented four examples of Iran's ballistic missile developments adding that these "are the latest in a long series of advances in Iranian ballistic missile technology", and highlighted the fact that "furthermore, Iran continues its proliferation of ballistic missile technology in the region" in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.
Just this week the U.S. Navy seized a ship in the Arabian Sea carrying what appeared to be advanced missile parts to Yemen.
However, Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif insisted that the UN Resolution 2231 does not officially prevent Iran from developing ballistic missiles.
Zarif characterized the EU-3 letter to the UN Chief in a harshly worded tweet "a desperate falsehood to cover up their miserable incompetence in fulfilling bare minimum of own JCPOA obligations."
Meanwhile, Iran has never given up hope in Europe's financial mechanism to help Tehran benefit from the nuclear deal with world powers despite US sanctions although at times Iranian officials have sounded frustrated by the delay in activating the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX).
Recently 6 other European countries joined France, UK and Germany in order to strengthen the mechanism which has still not been put to practice.
It is still not clear if Iran has been given any deadline or clear demands by the Europeans in today’s meeting in Vienna.