Foreign Affairs
Three EU countries increase pressure on Iran

France, Germany and the United Kingdom have decided to increase pressure on Iran and formally apply the disagreement mechanism because Iran breached a crucial part of the nuclear agreement that was signed in 2015.

Under the agreement, Iran accepted a pact with the United States, France, China, Russia, the UK and Germany to decrease its nuclear activity aimed in exchange at removing sanctions imposed by the United Nations against Iran. However, it seems that from that time onward Iran has gradually backtracked from the imposed limitations on the continued produce of uranium that can be used as fuel in nuclear reactors as well as for nuclear armaments.

The Iranian authorities said they have done this because two years ago the US breached and withdrew from the agreement and once more imposed sanctions.

The German Minister for Foreign Affairs, Heiko Maas, said the three countries have taken this step to avoid Iran manufacturing a nuclear bomb. Maas called on Iran to take part in negotiations in a constructive manner to ensure the nuclear agreement is safeguarded.

This stance was further backed by Josep Borrell, responsible for the EU’s foreign affairs who stated the action by the three countries is not aimed at re-imposing sanctions on Iran.

“The objective is therefore to find solutions and return to full compliance within the framework of this agreement.”

According to the disagreement mechanism they have to inform the other members of the agreement, that is China, Russia and Iran, that there is a 15-day period during which differences have to be resolved, a period that may be extended by common consent.

Meanwhile, Iran President, Hassan Rouhani, said the tragic Ukrainian passenger aircraft incident in which 176 people died was a mistake for which the country’s military could not be forgiven.

With Iran facing its greatest crisis since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Rouhani said the country will punish those responsible for the gross mistake of accidentally firing the missile that struck the passenger aircraft. A spokesperson for Iranian investigators said a number of persons have been placed under arrest while declaring that such a mistake will never be repeated.

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