European powers refuse to back down from Iran nuclear deal

France, Germany and the UK called on Iran to be fully compliant with the JCPoA

epa08122823 A handout photo made available by Iran's Presidential Office shows Iranian President Hassan Rouhani attending a joint press conference with Emir of Qatar Sheikh al-Thani following their meeting in Tehran, Iran, 12 January 2020. According to reports, Sheikh Tamim is visiting Tehran amid regional tension.  EPA/IRAN'S PRESIDENT OFFICE HANDOUT  HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES
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France, Germany and the UK said on Sunday it is “essential” Iran returns to full compliance with the landmark 2015 deal that was enacted to limit its nuclear capabilities.

The three countries said they remained committed to the agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and reiterated their displeasure at the US decision to withdraw from the deal and reimpose sanctions on Iran.

It comes only days after US President Donald Trump, who is hugely critical of he JCPoA, said it was time for the Europe to “break away from the remnants” of the 2015 deal.

Last week Tehran announced it would not longer abide by any of the restrictions of the JCPoA but says it is prepared to reverse its move if the sanctions, which have devastated its economy, are withdrawn.

“Together, we have made clear our regret and concern at the decision by the United States to withdraw from the JCPoA and to re-impose sanctions on Iran. Despite increasingly difficult circumstances, we have worked hard to preserve the agreement,” a joint French, German and British statement read.

“It is essential that Iran return to full compliance with its commitments under the agreement. We have expressed our deep concern at the actions taken by Iran in violation of its commitments since July 2019. These actions must be reversed,” the three countries said.

Amid regional instability they said they wanted a stable Middle East with no conflict, a scenario they are committed to working towards

“Recent events have highlighted Iran’s destabilising role in the region, including through the IRGC and Al Quds force. Our commitment to the security of our allies and partners in the region is unwavering,” the statement said.

“We must address - through diplomacy and in a meaningful way - shared concerns about Iran’s destabilising regional activities, including those linked to its missile programme.

“Today, our message is clear: we remain committed to the JCPOA and to preserving it; we urge Iran to reverse all measures inconsistent with the agreement and return to full compliance; we call on Iran to refrain from further violent action or proliferation; and we remain ready to engage with Iran on this agenda in order to preserve the stability of the region,” they said.