The three European signatories to the Iranian nuclear deal have been more dovish towards Iran than the Americans. Iranian plans to openly expand its nuclear programme and restrict access of IAEA monitoring has finally pushed them to issue a joint statement this morning:
We, the governments of France, Germany and the United Kingdom have worked tirelessly to preserve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA). It is a key achievement of multilateral diplomacy and the global non-proliferation architecture. We negotiated the JCPoA with the conviction that it would decisively contribute to building confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme, as well as to international peace and security. It remains the best, and currently the only, way to monitor and constrain Iran’s nuclear programme.
Iran’s recent announcement to the IAEA that it intends to install an additional three cascades of advanced centrifuges at the Fuel Enrichment Plant in Natanz is contrary to the JCPoA and deeply worrying.
Furthermore, we have taken note, with great concern, of the recent law passed by the Iranian Parliament, which – if implemented – would substantially expand Iran’s nuclear programme and limit IAEA monitoring access. The measures would be incompatible with the JCPoA and Iran’s wider nuclear commitments.
If Iran is serious about preserving a space for diplomacy, it must not implement these steps. Such a move would jeopardise our shared efforts to preserve the JCPoA and risks compromising the important opportunity for a return to diplomacy with the incoming US Administration. A return to the JCPoA would also be beneficial for Iran.
We will address Iran’s non-compliance within the framework of the JCPoA. We welcome the statements by President-elect Biden on the JCPoA and a diplomatic path to address wider concerns with Iran. This is in all our interests.
Trump has consistently said that Iran is in breach of the terms of the deal. Macron, Merkel and Johnson will be worried about rumours circulating in Washington that Trump might send the Iranians a parting gift via the United States Airforce…