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EghtesadOnline: In a joint statement on Sunday, the three European parties to the 2015 nuclear agreement, namely France, Germany and Britain (E3), expressed concern about the risk of the deal's collapse, calling for the resumption of multilateral dialogue to stop the escalation of tensions.

"We believe the time has come to act responsibly and seek a path to stop the escalation of tensions and resume dialogue," their statement, published by the French president's website, read.

They also warned of the high risks of the current situation, urging "all stakeholders to pause and consider the possible consequences of their actions".

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the deal is formally called, has been facing a risk of breakdown since the United States pulled out last year and reimposed sweeping sanctions on Tehran, according to Financial Tribune.

Its foundations were further undermined in May when Washington reimposed sanctions on Iranian oil imports and Iran initiated a reciprocal plan by gradually scaling down its commitments under the deal. 

The US has made offers of "unconditional" talks that Iran has turned down, calling them untenable under sanctions and economic pressures.



De-Escalation Efforts 

The three European countries have sought to defuse tensions through diplomatic efforts. 

French President Emmanuel Macron dispatched his top diplomatic advisor to Tehran last week to offer suggestions on how to freeze the current status quo to gain some time and had called for a review of the diplomatic progress by July 15.

He had also said he would try to convince US President Donald Trump to go back on some of the sanctions to give negotiations a chance, but Trump has shown no sign of backing down for now despite talks with Macron, saying last week he would push on with more sanctions.

Unfortunately, the US foreign policy machine is afflicted with an obsessive-compulsive disorder marked by the urge to repeatedly pile sanctions over sanctions, despite their utter failure in achieving the targeted results. 

"Our countries have recently taken several diplomatic initiatives to contribute to de-escalation and dialogue, for which signs of goodwill are urgently needed, from all sides," the E3 said in the statement.  

The three countries also declared their intension to continue to explore the avenues of dialogue foreseen under the agreement to address Iran's compliance, including through the Joint Commission of the JCPOA.

"In search of a resolution, we will continue our active engagement with all interested parties, in the interest of the preservation of international peace and security."



High on EU Agenda 

JCPOA also topped the agenda of a meeting of European foreign ministers who convened in Brussels on Monday. 

They were expected to try to flesh out how to convince Iran and the US to reduce tensions and initiate a dialogue amid fears the deal would collapse.    

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said ahead of the meeting that the deal "isn't dead yet" and that there is a "small window" to save it, BBC reported. 

EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, also said "together with all the member states and our international partners, [we will see] how we preserve the nuclear deal with Iran and put in place all the measures so that Iran can go back to full compliance, as it has been until a few weeks … days ago."

Margot Wallstrom, Sweden's foreign minister, was quoted as saying by the Express that "we will continue to talk to the Americans as well about how counterproductive this is and we’re not helped by further escalation of the sort of conflict between the US and Iran".

France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Europe had to remain united in trying to preserve the accord. 

Le Drian said Tehran had to reverse its measures, which he described as "a bad response to a bad decision".


Iran Germany nuclear agreement France Britain E3 Europeans Resumption Nuclear Dialogue multilateral dialogue escalation of tensions