France, Germany, and the UK have announced that they will not lift certain sanctions imposed on Iran for its alleged non-compliance with the 2015 nuclear pact. The three countries, collectively known as the ‘E3′, had previously committed to ending the penalties by late 2023 as part of the agreement.
In a joint statement issued on Thursday by a spokesperson representing the E3, the countries explained their decision to maintain the sanctions. They cited Iran’s consistent and severe non-compliance with its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the official name of the nuclear deal. The statement specifically referred to Iran’s refusal to return to the JCPOA and its continued expansion of its nuclear program beyond the limitations outlined in the agreement.
The E3 emphasized that they had made multiple attempts to resolve Iran’s non-compliance through the dispute resolution mechanism included in the nuclear deal. However, Iran had rejected opportunities to return to the JCPOA twice and had exceeded the limits on its nuclear program set by the agreement.
While the nuclear pact imposed restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program, including limits on the amount of enriched uranium it could possess, it also included commitments from other signatories, primarily the lifting of sanctions on Iran. However, Iran argues that it is no longer bound by these commitments due to the United States’ unilateral withdrawal from the deal in 2018. At that time, former US President Donald Trump reimposed all previous sanctions on Iran and expanded them, violating the core US commitment under the JCPOA.
Since the US withdrawal, Iran has gradually increased its nuclear program by enriching uranium beyond the JCPOA’s set limits. The E3’s statement highlighted Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium, which is more than 18 times the amount permitted under the JCPOA.
Negotiations between Iranian and Western diplomats have taken place since 2021, but progress has been slow. Iran insists that its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes and will only resume compliance with the nuclear deal if the other signatories fulfill their promise to lift sanctions.
The decision by France, Germany, and the UK to maintain sanctions against Iran underscores the ongoing tensions and disagreements over the nuclear issue. Despite efforts to resolve the situation, the parties involved have struggled to find a mutually acceptable solution. The future of the JCPOA and the broader stability of the region remain uncertain as Iran’s nuclear program continues to expand and sanctions remain in place.