Britain, France and Germany have launched action under the Iran nuclear agreement paving the way for possible sanctions in response to Tehran’s attempts to roll back parts of the deal, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said. The three countries, which signed the international agreement in 2015 along with the US, Russia and China, informed Borrell, who supervises the pact, in a letter that they are triggering its “dispute mechanism”, ratcheting up pressure on the Islamic Republic.
 
What
  1. The leaders of the three nations said in a statement that they’ve been “left with no choice, given Iran’s actions, but to register today our concerns that Iran is not meeting its commitments”.
  2. The powers said they are referring this matter to the Joint Commission under the Dispute Resolution Mechanism, as set out in the nuclear deal. German foreign minister Heiko Maas said in a statement that the three European countries “could no longer leave the growing Iranian violations of the nuclear agreement unanswered”.
  3. Our goal is clear: we want to preserve the accord and come to a diplomatic solution within the agreement, he added. We will tackle this together with all partners in the agreement. 
  4. We call on Iran to participate constructively in the negotiation process that is now beginning. Borrell insisted that the move does not mean that sanctions will automatically be reimposed.
  5. The mechanism allows two weeks for ministers to resolve any problems, although that period can be extended if all sides agree. If needed, an advisory board would have an extra 20 days to adjudicate.
Flashback
  1. The Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, offered Tehran billions of dollars in sanctions relief in exchange for agreeing to curb its nuclear program.
  2. The agreement was aimed at ensuring that "Iran's nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful." In return, it lifted U.N. Security Council and other sanctions, including in areas covering trade, technology, finance and energy. The deal was sealed in July 2015, under President Barack Obama.
  3. Tehran acceded to a 10-year restriction on nuclear production, agreed to shut down thousands of centrifuges and exported almost all of its bomb-making material.
  4. Under the agreement, Iran agreed that "under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons."
  5. Iran also allowed a strict monitoring regime, permitting international inspectors to gain access to sites suspected of nuclear weapons-related activities.
  6. The agreement did allow for a commercial nuclear program "for exclusively peaceful purposes."