EU warns Iran it may be forced to withdraw from nuclear deal
The European Union has privately warned Iran that it will be forced to start withdrawing from the nuclear deal in November if Tehran goes ahead with its threat to take new steps away from the deal, The Guardian reports.
Iran has already taken three separate calibrated steps away from the deal, and has warned it will take a fourth in November unless the US lifts economic sanctions.
The warning to Iran, pre-agreed by the three EU signatories to the 2015 deal, was made at a meeting on Wednesday, and makes clear that the agreement is now on life support.
The EU told Iran that it would put the issue of Iranian non-compliance into the agreement’s formal dispute mechanism if the next Iranian move away from the deal is significant.
Iran says it has been taking advertised, reversible and calibrated steps away from the deal as a reprisal for US sanctions, including its ban on Iranian oil exports, and the failure of the EU to do more to build trade with Iran. Tehran is due to take a fourth step on 7 November.
One source said: “The difficulty is that Iran says the steps are reversible, but if they learn about building a nuclear bomb, that is irreversible.”
Once the deal’s dispute mechanism is triggered, both sides have 30 days to prove significant non-compliance, and if necessary a world-wide sanctions snap-back occurs.