Britain, France, Germany say Iran denial of UN access risks safeguards systems

In this April 9, 2009 file picture Iranian technicians work at a new facility producing uranium fuel for a planned heavy-water nuclear reactor. (File: AP)

Britain, France, Germany said that Iran’s denial of access to UN inspectors risks seriously undermining the global safeguards system if no progress is made, according to a joint statement released on Friday.

The three countries also said they would not support US efforts to trigger the reimposition of UN sanctions on Iran.

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“We firmly believe that any unilateral attempt to trigger UN sanctions snapback would have serious adverse consequences in the UN Security Council,” the three foreign ministers said in a joint statement after meeting in Berlin to discuss Iran.

“We would not support such a decision, which would be incompatible with our current efforts to preserve the JCPoA.

Under Iran’s 2015 deal with world powers to accept limits to its nuclear program in return for the lifting of sanctions, a UN weapons embargo is due to expire in October. The United States, which exited the deal in 2018, says it wants to extend the embargo.

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If the UN Security Council does not extend the embargo, Washington has threatened to trigger a so-called snapback of all UN sanctions on Iran, using a process outlined in the nuclear deal.

Such a move would be likely to kill the nuclear accord.

European diplomats are working on a compromise, but it is unclear whether they will able to satisfy the United States as well as Russia and China, which like the E3 remain in the deal.

“We believe that the planned lifting of the U.N. conventional arms embargo... would have major implications for regional security and stability,” the E3 said, adding it was working in coordination with China and Russia on the issue.

Speaking to reporters on Friday in a teleconference call, the US special envoy to Iran, Brian Hook, declined to comment on a potential compromise.

“Nobody can argue that Iran’s behavior since 2015 merits a lifting of the arms embargo,” he said.

The E3 ministers said they hoped to hold a ministerial meeting with Iran to discuss its violations of the nuclear deal and assess a mechanism they had launched in January aimed at resolving differences within its framework.

“We remain committed to the JCPoA and, in order to preserve it, urge Iran to reverse all measures inconsistent with the agreement and return to full compliance without delay,” they said.

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Last Update: Friday, 19 June 2020 KSA 19:34 - GMT 16:34
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