“We reject any ultimatums,“ the EU responds to Iranian urge for implementation of nuclear-related commitments to protect the country’s oil and banking sectors from US sanctions. Iranian president asked for prompt reaction within 60 days, otherwise Iran would attempt to resume excessive enriched uranium. In response, the US issued further sanctions, thus crippling Iran’s steel, aluminum, copper and iron sectors. European powers expect Iran to respect the nuclear deal despite they regret re-imposition of US sanctions.
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), widely known as Iran nuclear agreement, was negotiated in 2015 to monitor and limit Iran’s proliferation activities in exchange for nuclear sanctions relief granted by the US, the EU, and the UN. However, the US withdrew from the deal in 2018. Although the EU enacted the blocking statute to forbid European companies from complying with the US sanctions, with the aim to nullify the effects of US withdrawal, Iran experienced an outflow of international investments. Accordingly, after more than a year, Iran described the deal as “ineffective” and called for further action.
However, Iran’s 60-day “ultimatum” does not seem to save the deal: European powers “strongly urge Iran to continue to implement its commitments under the JCPOA in full as it has done until now and to refrain from any escalatory steps”. The EU member states hope to avoid any escalation and preserve the deal. France warns that Iran’s partial withdrawal may lead to the re-enactment of nuclear sanctions. China emphasizes the importance for Iran to comply with the agreement, which remains the responsibility of all the JCPOA signatories.