On 19 June 2020 the foreign ministers of Britain, Germany and France published a statement on their assessment of the current status and prospects of implementing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear programme. Some provisions of this statement are bound to evoke questions about the intentions of our European colleagues in this area.
Russia has always appreciated the meaningful efforts and specific contribution of the two EU countries and Britain regarding our common efforts to preserve and steadily implement the JCPOA. All complications and failures in carrying out a nuclear deal with Iran have been created by the subversive activities of the US that has unilaterally walked out from the JCPOA and continues to systematically violate the requirements of UN Security Council Resolution 2231. Apparently, this is understood in the European capitals as well since they deemed it necessary to reiterate their regrets and concerns on this score.
At the same time, the assurances of our British, German and French colleagues in their commitment to the JCPOA and a search for solutions that can alleviate the negative impact of US sanctions against Iran, are not consistent with their attempts to fuel tensions around Iran’s nuclear programme in the IAEA and their discourse on launching “the dispute resolution mechanism” envisaged by paragraph 36 of the JCPOA.
We understand that Berlin, London and Paris are disappointed by the absence of consensus on their anti-Iranian resolution in the IAEA Board of Governors. We and our Chinese colleagues warned the authors in advance that their initiative is counterproductive because it opens the way for relaunching the Iranian file in the IAEA and creating subsequent tensions in the UN Security Council. We tried to convince them that the resolution will do no good, that it will harm our common efforts to stabilise the situation around the JCPOA. We repeatedly urged the two EU countries and Britain not to play up to the advocates of the policy of exerting maximum pressure on Iran, a policy which has completely discredited itself both politically and practically.
The adoption of the resolution by the IAEA Board of Governors was not prompted by the real state of affairs in the use of safeguards in the IRI. We are convinced that all questions arising, including agreement on access to the facilities that are of interest to the IAEA, may be resolved during routine cooperation between the states concerned and the IAEA Secretariat. It is no accident that the resolution failed to receive support from the states representing more than half of the world’s population, including two permanent UN Security Council members.
As for another round of discourse of the two EU states and Britain on “the dispute resolution mechanism,” let’s recall that our European colleagues tried to initiate it without success last January. However, it was not launched due to numerous procedural failures. The joint commission did not hold any meetings in this regard. No decisions on launching this mechanism were adopted and no ways of overcoming this deadlock suggested.
We hope Berlin, London and Paris will give priority to the urgent tasks of preserving the JCPOA and returning its implementation into the initially agreed upon channel. We consider it important for all current participants to reaffirm their commitment to the challenging targets of the JCPOA. The approach of the JCPOA’s fifth anniversary seems to offer a good opportunity for this. We urge the European participants in the comprehensive agreements to use this opportunity to return to the unifying agenda and continue fighting for the common cause.