Britain warns Iran over 'systematic non-compliance' with nuclear deal

Foreign ministry says Tehran must constructively engage with dispute resolution process

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a video conference call with Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, in Tehran, Iran, July 1, 2020. Official Presidential website/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES
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Britain's commitment to the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal is being jeopardised by Iran’s repeated violations of the agreement, the government said on Saturday after Tehran notified the European Union that it was activating the agreement's dispute resolution mechanism.

A Foreign Office statement said Tehran must "engage constructively" with the resolution process over its failure to keep its commitments under the deal, which was aimed at preventing Iran from gaining nuclear weapons capability.

Officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the accord has been unravelling after President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the agreement in 2018. His administration then renewed crippling sanctions on the regime in Tehran, which Iran has used as justification for breaking the terms of the deal.

The European signatories to the agreement, the UK, France and Germany, also known as the E3, triggered the deal's dispute resolution mechanism (DRM) earlier this year because of Iran’s non-compliance but later suspended the action.

On Friday, the European Union’s top diplomat said he had been notified by Iran that it was reactivating the DRM because of the E3’s failure to live up to the deal.

The British Foreign Office called on Iran to stop violating the accord. “The UK remains committed to JCPoA, but it is being put at risk by systematic Iranian non-compliance,” a spokesperson said.

“If Iran wishes to benefit from the JCPOA, it must engage constructively with the DRM process initiated by the E3, and implement its commitments under the deal.”

Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign policy chief, said the DRM "requires intensive efforts in good faith by all”.

“As we approach the fifth anniversary of the JCPOA, I should like to take this opportunity to recall the importance of the agreement," Mr Borrell said after receiving the letter from Iran detailing its concerns with the E3.

“The JCPOA is an historic achievement for global nuclear non-proliferation contributing to regional and global security.

“I remain determined to continue working with the participants of the JCPOA and the international community to preserve it,” he said.

The dispute mechanism provides for a period of about one month, which can be prolonged if all parties agree, to resolve any disagreement.