Statement by the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and the United Kingdom
We, the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and the United Kingdom, share fundamental common security interests, along with our European partners. One of them is upholding the nuclear non-proliferation regime, and ensuring that Iran never develops a nuclear weapon. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) plays a key role in this respect.
Together, we have stated unequivocally our regret and concern at the decision by the United States to withdraw from the JCPoA and to re-impose sanctions on Iran. Since May 2018, we have worked tirelessly to preserve the agreement.
As E3, we have fully upheld our JCPoA commitments, including sanctions-lifting as foreseen under the terms of the agreement. In addition we have gone beyond the commitments required by the agreement to support legitimate trade with Iran, including through INSTEX, which is fully operational and facilitating transactions.
Since 2019, Iran has taken nuclear measures contrary to its commitments under the JCPoA. We are deeply concerned by those actions, which seriously undermine the non-proliferation benefits of the agreement. That is the reason why the E3 initiated the JCPoA’s Dispute Resolution Mechanism on 14 January, in good faith and in hope of finding a diplomatic way forward, preserving the agreement and bringing Iran back to full compliance with its commitments under the JCPoA.
We urge Iran to pursue substantial discussions and actions in coordination with us and the other remaining JCPoA participants in this regard. To this end, the E3 reaffirm they are ready to engage in a meaningful and realistic approach and await a constructive Iranian response. We will seek a ministerial meeting to urge Iran to cooperate and to take stock of where we stand in the DRM process.
We also note with grave concern that despite the IAEA’s continuous efforts, Iran has denied the access requested by the Agency for many months, which prevents the Agency from fulfilling its mandate, and risks seriously undermining the global safeguards system if no progress is made.
At the initiative of the E3, a resolution was adopted with a very strong majority at the latest IAEA Board of Governors. We commend the IAEA for its work in verifying Iran’s safeguards obligations, and call on Iran to cooperate in a timely and complete manner with the IAEA and to grant access to sites as requested by the Agency.
The E3 remain committed to fully implementing Resolution 2231 by which the JCPoA has been endorsed in 2015. However, we believe that the planned lifting of the UN conventional arms embargo established by Resolution 2231 next October would have major implications for regional security and stability. We recall that the EU embargoes on conventional arms exports and missile technology will remain in force until 2023. We wish to address the issue in close coordination with Russia and China as remaining participants to the JCPOA, as well as with all other Security Council Members, as well as other key stakeholders. We will be guided by these objectives: upholding the authority and integrity of the UN Security Council and working toward regional security and stability.
We firmly believe that any unilateral attempt to trigger UN sanctions snapback would have serious adverse consequences in the UNSC. We would not support such a decision which would be incompatible with our current efforts to preserve the JCPoA.
We are convinced that we must address shared concerns about Iran’s nuclear program, its ballistic missile program and its destabilizing regional activities in the long term. To this end, we continue to believe that the strategy of maximum pressure will not effectively serve this goal, and instead remain committed to holding Iran to account, while pursuing meaningful diplomacy and dialogue.
We remain committed to the JCPoA and, in order to preserve it, urge Iran to reverse all measures inconsistent with the agreement and return to full compliance without delay. We reaffirm our readiness to engage substantively with Iran.