EU’s Borrell receives letter from Iranian FM triggering the JCPOA Dispute Resolution Mechanism (

EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said he has received a letter from Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif referring Iran’s concerns regarding implementation issues by France, Germany and the United Kingdom under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the 2015 nuclear deal, to the Joint Commission for resolution through the Dispute Resolution Mechanism.

This Dispute Resolution  Mechanism is a built-in process through which a complaint about a potential violation of the deal can be resolved. The mechanism provides for a one-month period to resolve any disagreement, which can be prolonged if all parties agree.

‘’As I have said previously, the Dispute Resolution Mechanism requires intensive efforts in good faith by all. As Coordinator of the Joint Commission, I expect all JCPOA participants to approach this process in this spirit within the framework of the JCPOA,’’ Borrell said.

The Joint Commission, which is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the agreement under the terms of the JCPOA, has met since 2016 to discuss the implementation of the JCPOA and address pertinent issues brought to the attention of the Coordinator by any participant.

‘’As we approach the fifth anniversary of the JCPOA, I would like to take this opportunity to recall the importance of the agreement. 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,’’ Borrell said.

On January 15, Britain, France and Germany themselves triggered the JCPOA’s dispute resolution mechanism after Tehran declared that it was no longer bound by the uranium-enrichment limitations spelled out by the accord, but later suspended the action.

Zarif’s letter to Borrell was sent a day after Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization announced that a mysterious fire had broken out at the Natanz nuclear facility in Isfahan.

Iran initially downplayed the damage, but Iran’s atomic agency spokesman confirmed Sunday that “there were no casualties as a result of the incident, but significant financial damages were incurred … there were advanced equipment and precision measurement devices at this site that were either destroyed or damaged.”

He also confirmed that the damaged building was a centrifuge assembly centre and not an “industrial shed,” as earlier claimed. “More advanced centrifuge machines were intended to be built there,” he said, adding that the damage would “possibly cause a delay in development and production of advanced centrifuge machines in the medium term.”

Israeli Alternate Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benny Gantz said that the country is not behind every incident that occurs in Iran. “Not every incident that transpires in Iran necessarily has something to do with us,” he said.

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