(July 8, 2019 / JNS) Germany, the United Kingdom, France and the European Union urged Iran to back down from recent threats to raise its enrichment of uranium above levels allowed under the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), but stopped short of threatening to reimpose sanctions lifted under the nuclear deal if Iran does not comply.
Germany called on Iran “to stop and reverse all activities inconsistent with its commitments,” and said it was “extremely concerned” by Iran’s Sunday announcement that it would raise uranium enrichment above the 3.67 percent limit. However, it would wait for more information from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) before taking any action.
The IAEA said it was still waiting for its inspectors in Iran to report to IAEA headquarters in Vienna.
The British Foreign Office issued a statement saying that the United Kingdom “remains fully committed to the deal,” but that “Iran must immediately stop and reverse all activities inconsistent with its obligations.”
E.U. spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said on Sunday that the bloc is “extremely concerned” by the Iranian announcement and is considering convening an emergency meeting.
On Saturday, French President Emmanuel Macron told Reuters “it’s not an option at this moment” for his country to activate clauses in the nuclear deal that would impose sanctions if Iran fails to uphold its obligations under the agreement.
Speaking at the beginning of Sunday’s cabinet meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called upon world leaders to enforce the deal, comparing the situation to the onset of Nazi rule in Europe.
“World War II began in Europe … when Nazi Germany took one small step, reentering the Rhineland. It was a small step, no one said anything and no one did anything,” said Netanyahu. “The next step was the Anschluss … and the step after that was the entry into Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia. The rest is known.”