The three European countries made the plea in a joint statement issued on Sunday, the fourth anniversary of the conclusion of the Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The three parties to the landmark accord expressed concern that the 2015 deal could potentially collapse following renewed sanctions by the United States and Iran’s decision to scale back some of its commitments in retaliation for the US’s unilateral withdrawal and the imposition of the sanctions. “We believe the time has come to act responsibly and seek a path to stop the escalation of tensions and resume dialogue,” said the English-language version of the statement issued by the Élysée.
“The risks are such that it is necessary that all the parties take a pause and think about the possible consequences of their actions,” it added. “We are concerned by the risk that the JCPOA further unravels under the strain of sanctions imposed by the United States and following Iran’s decision to no longer implement several of the central provisions of the agreement.”
This is while Iran has scaled back some of its commitments based on the provisions of the deal itself and not in breach of it. The three European countries also stressed that they would continue to support the nuclear deal but said its implementation “was contingent on Iran’s full compliance.”
Iran wants the European parties to do enough for Iran to achieve the economic benefits that it is promised under the agreement by working to offset the adverse impacts of the US sanctions. In the absence of such efforts, Iran has said, it would be meaningless for Tehran to keep implementing its side of the bargain unilaterally.
The JCPOA was signed between Iran and originally six world powers — namely the US, Germany, France, Britain, Russia, and China. Washington, however, unilaterally withdrew last May.
All the other parties to the deal have been critical of Washington’s move and have been holding meetings with Tehran to discuss how they can make the pact properly work for the Iranian side as well, but to little effect.
Tehran has said it would potentially scrap the deal if no progress is made in that area.
In May and a year after the US exit, Iran suspended some of its commitments under Articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA, giving the other signatories a first 60-day deadline to turn their verbal support for the accord into concrete action.
Tensions between Washington and Tehran escalated after US President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled his country out of the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018 and re-imposed harsh sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
The tensions saw a sharp rise on the first anniversary of Washington’s exit from the deal as the US moved to ratchet up pressure on Iran by tightening its oil sanctions and accelerating the planned deployment of military reinforcements to the Persian Gulf.
Iran shot down a US surveillance drone on June 20 following its violation of Iranian airspace. Following the incident, Trump reportedly approved military strikes against Iran but called them off 10 minutes before they were set to be launched.