jcpoa 11 June 2020

EU, Russia and China oppose US effort to use JCPOA to pressure Iran

The European Union’s foreign policy chief has said that the United States cannot use its previous participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (‘JCPOA’) as a means by which it can re-impose an arms embargo on Tehran.

The text of the JCPOA calls for the lifting of a United Nations arms embargo on the Iranian government in October. But US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that the United States is opposed to that happening and is looking into ways to extend or re-impose the embargo. One of the options that Pompeo is reportedly looking at is to make a legal argument that the US remains part of the JCPOA despite having officially pulled out of the deal.

But EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said it is clear that the United States is no longer part of that agreement.

‘The United States have withdrawn from the JCPOA and now they cannot claim that they are still part of it in order to deal with this issue from the JCPOA agreement,’ Borrell said after a virtual meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Brussels on 9 June.

Russia and China, which are eager to resume arms sales to Iran, have reportedly already written to the UN Security Council and the UN Secretary General in an effort to thwart Pompeo’s efforts against having the embargo lifted.