The foreign ministers of the three countries issued a statement Tuesday, saying that while they remain committed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the deal is formally known, the dispute mechanism has been triggered.
Under the mechanism, the Joint Commission — which contains representatives from every signatory and safeguards the deal — will now review the situation.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a statement that the three countries “could no longer leave the growing Iranian violations of the nuclear agreement unanswered.”
“After intensive consultations with France and Great Britain, we therefore decided to trigger the dispute settlement mechanism provided for in the agreement. Our goal is clear: we want to preserve the agreement and come to a diplomatic solution within the agreement,” Maas said.
The 2015 deal was signed following two years of intense negotiations by China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK and the US. It was intended to limit Iran’s civilian nuclear program and prevent it from developing nuclear weapons in exchange for sanction relief.
However, US President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal and re-introduced economic sanctions on Iran in 2018. While the remaining parties said they were committed to keeping the deal alive, Iran has slowly started resurrecting its nuclear program.
After the killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad in a US drone attack at the start of January, Tehran announced that, “Iran will set its limits based on its technical needs.”