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France, Germany and UK do not support US in seeking to reimpose sanctions on Iran: Joint statement



US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo departs after speaking to reporters following a meeting with members of the UN Security Council about Iran's alleged non-compliance with a nuclear deal and calling for the restoration of sanctions against Iran at UN headquarters in New York, US, August 20, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

LONDON - France, Germany and the United Kingdom issued a joint statement on Thursday saying that they cannot support the United States in seeking to reimpose sanctions on Iran.

The US sent a letter to the UN Security Council on Thursday requesting to initiate the "snapback" mechanism, which allows a participant to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) to seek the reimposition against Iran of the multilateral sanctions lifted in 2015 in accordance with resolution 2231, adopted by the UN Security Council.

"The US ceased to be a participant to the JCPoA following their withdrawal from the deal on 8 May, 2018... We cannot therefore support this action which is incompatible with our current efforts to support the JCPoA," the statement noted.

France, Germany and the UK said they "are committed to preserving the processes and institutions which constitute the foundation of multilateralism. We remain guided by the objective of upholding the authority and integrity of the United Nations Security Council. We call on all UN Security Council members to refrain from any action that would only deepen divisions in the Security Council or that would have serious adverse consequences on its work."

Reiterating that they remain committed to the JCPoA despite the significant challenges caused by US withdrawal, the three countries said they "believe that we should address the current issue of systematic Iranian non-compliance with its JCPoA obligations through dialogue between JCPoA participants, including through the Joint Commission and use of the Dispute Resolution Mechanism."

A woman wearing a face mask walks beside Chitgar Lake in Tehran, Iran, July 5, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua】

In order to preserve the agreement, they urged Iran "to reverse all measures inconsistent with its nuclear commitments and return to full compliance without delay."

The three countries also pledged to continue to work with all UN Security Council members and stakeholders to seek a path forward that preserves space for further diplomacy.

"Our efforts will be guided by the need to uphold the authority and integrity of the UN Security Council and to advance regional security and stability," they noted in the statement.

The JCPoA, also known as the Iran nuclear deal, was inked by Iran in July 2015 with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States. However, the US, under President Donald Trump, withdrew from the deal on May 8, 2018, and reimposed sanctions on Tehran, despite objections from the international community.

A year after the US unilateral exit, Iran stopped implementing some of its commitments under the deal and set a 60-day deadline for the Europeans to help the Islamic republic reap the economic benefits of the deal.

The European signatories still support the deal and have vowed to sidestep US sanctions re-imposed after its withdrawal.