Europe Triggers JCPOA Dispute Mechanism to Avoid Trump’s Tariffs
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Germany, France and Britain accused Iran of breaching the 2015 nuclear deal in order to avoid US president Donald Trump’s 25% tariffs on European autos.
A week before Germany, France and Britain formally accused Iran of breaching the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Trump administration issued a private threat to the Europeans. If they refused to call out Tehran and initiate an arcane dispute mechanism in the deal, the United States would impose a 25 percent tariff on European automobiles, the Trump officials warned, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday, citing unnamed European officials.
The three European parties to the nuclear deal triggered a dispute mechanism under the agreement on Tuesday.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who travelled to India this week to attend the Raisina Dialogue 2020, criticized the Europeans’ failure to honor their JCPOA commitments, and slammed their move to trigger the dispute resolution mechanism as baseless in legal terms and a “strategic mistake” in political terms.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a Wednesday session of the cabinet in Tehran, Mahmoud Vaezi, the Iranian president's chief of staff, slammed the Europeans’ move as a propagandistic and groundless move, saying it indicates Europe’s weakness and passiveness.
In remarks on Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi also reacted to the European announcement about triggering the mechanism, saying that it is nothing new as Iran employed the process more than a year ago.
In May 2018, Trump pulled his country out of the JCPOA.
In response to the move, Tehran has so far rowed back on its nuclear commitments four times in compliance with Articles 26 and 36, but stressed that its retaliatory measures will be reversible as soon as Europe finds practical ways to shield the mutual trade from the sanctions.
Iran and the remaining parties launched talks to save the JCPOA after the US withdrawal, but the three EU parties to the deal have failed to ensure Iran’s economic interests.
The EU’s inaction forced Tehran to stop honoring certain commitments to the nuclear deal.
Iran maintains that the new measures are not designed to harm the JCPOA but to save the accord by creating a balance in the commitments.