EghtesadOnline: The three European parties to the 2015 nuclear deal have reaffirmed their commitment to pursue efforts for a diplomatic resolution to ensure the full implementation of the accord by all parties.
In a statement published by the British government's website, France, Britain and Germany said, "We remain fully committed to pursuing our efforts toward a diplomatic resolution within the framework of JCPOA."
They used the abbreviation of the deal's formal name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
As evidence for their efforts, the three countries cited the decision by six European Union states to join their financial system to facilitate trade with Iran in the face of sweeping sanctions that the United States reimposed on Tehran after unilaterally exiting the agreement last year, according to Financial Tribune.
Their mechanism, known as INSTEX (Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges), is among Europe's solutions to salvage the deal by protecting Iranian interests. It was established by France, Germany and Britain in January 2019 and aims to keep the country's trade afloat by circumventing US sanctions through a non-dollar system. However, it has not yet practically mitigated Iran's economic situation.
On Friday, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden issued a statement, announcing their decision to become shareholders of the instrument after the completion of national procedures.
"In light of the continuous European support for the agreement and ongoing efforts to implement the economic part of it and to facilitate legitimate trade between Europe and Iran, we are now in the process of becoming shareholders of … INSTEX subject to completion of national procedures," the statement published by Finland's Foreign Ministry website said.
Move to Strengthen INSTEX
The three European powers warmly welcomed the decision in their statement as the founding shareholders of the instrument.
"This step further strengthens INSTEX and demonstrates European efforts to facilitate legitimate trade between Europe and Iran, and is a clear expression of our continuing commitment to JCPOA," they said.
They highlighted the importance of "full and effective implementation" of the deal, urging Iran to return to full compliance "without delay".
Iran has begun to gradually scale back its commitments to JCPOA in response to the US pressure, arguing that European efforts have not protected its interests under the agreement.
It has so far exceeded limits on nuclear enrichment purity and stockpiles of enriched uranium, as well as research and development, including the deployment of advanced centrifuges used to enrich uranium.
Most recently, Tehran began uranium enrichment at Fordow facility where the activity was banned under JCPOA until 2030.
After each stage of the plan, Europe called on Iran to backtrack on its decision, recently warning of triggering JCPOA's dispute resolution mechanism, which could end in the United Nations Security Council with a so-called snapback of global sanctions on Tehran.
"We reaffirm our readiness to consider all mechanisms in JCPOA, including the dispute resolution mechanism, to resolve issues related to Iran’s implementation of its JCPOA commitments," they said in their latest statement.
In a tweet on Friday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian had also expressed the European stance.
"Important decision today of six European countries to join INSTEX. Strong commitment of Europeans to support the JCPOA and the European autonomy of action. We expect Iran to come back to the framework of this agreement."
Iranian officials have declared repeatedly that all moves are immediately and completely reversible once the country's economic concerns, particularly regarding its key oil trade, are addressed.