Iran will firmly respond to anyone acting to damage the 2015 nuclear deal, but welcomes “good faith” measures to save it, the foreign ministry said as three EU signatories triggered a non-compliance investigation against Tehran.
“It is necessary to explain that the action taken by the three European countries is a passive and weak position,” Abbas Mousavi, spokesman for the foreign ministry, warned in a statement.
He spoke shortly after Germany, France and the UK initiated a special dispute resolution procedure under the 2015 deal citing Iran’s alleged non-compliance with the pact.
Now, the Islamic Republic will provide a “serious and firm” response to any “destructive initiative” taken by any signatory of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Mousavi warned.
The European trio triggered the mechanism after Iran announced it would roll back its commitments under the deal following the killing of one of its top military commanders in a US drone strike earlier this month.
In a joint statement on Tuesday, the three countries asserted that Tehran had “no legal grounds” to stop complying with the terms of the agreement and that they were left with “no choice” but to take action.
Iran has also accused European countries of violating the deal however, with the country’s foreign ministry saying on Tuesday that European parties “failed to take tangible and serious action to meet their commitments” following the US’ abrupt departure from the agreement in 2018.
While Paris, Berlin and London implemented the investigation mechanism, they still made it clear that they are not joining Washington’s campaign of exerting “maximum pressure” on Tehran.
The 2015 nuclear deal, signed after years of intense negotiations, was thrown into disarray when US President Donald Trump quit the pact calling it the “worst deal ever” and reimposed previously lifted sanctions on the country.
The US departure caused tensions with European countries which were intent on keeping the accord afloat in the face of increasing difficulties – and eventually led Tehran to scale back its commitment to the deal’s terms.
Under the terms, Iran had agreed to curtail its domestic nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of sanctions. Now, however, with the European trio triggering the compliance investigation, the worst case scenario for Iran could see the UN Security Council deciding to reinstate some sanctions.