The EU has recently rejected Iran’s proposed 60-day ultimatum for the countries nuclear deal. This ultimatum is in reference to Iran’s recent decision to withdraw from certain parts of the 2015 nuclear agreement only one year after the U.S. withdrew entirely from the agreement that was signed by several major world powers. In a joint statement, the EU’s most prominent countries urged Iran to honour and respect the nuclear agreement. In addition, they also stated that they regretted the new American sanctions that have been imposed on the country. On Wednesday, the Iranian government announced that it would resume the high-level enrichment of uranium if the other world powers fail to keep the promises they made under the agreement. Because of this, the Trump administration announced that it would place harsh new sanctions on Iranian steel, aluminum, copper, and iron sectors, according to Al Jazeera. Furthermore, the EU also stated that it “remained committed to its stance regarding sanction-lifting for the benefit of the Iranian people.”
“We strongly urge Iran to continue to implement its commitments under the JCPOA in full as it has done until now and to refrain from any escalatory steps,” said the EU in its recent statement. “We reject any ultimatums and we will assess Iran’s compliance on the basis of Iran’s performance regarding its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA.” Because of these new sanctions, tensions between the U.S. and Iran have surged dramatically. “The last American decision really attacks the heart of the nuclear deal,” said Francois Nicoullaud, the former French ambassador to Iran. “The United States had the right under international law to leave the deal. But from outside, attacking the Iranian commitment – this is really a hostile attitude.” The tensions between these two countries can be felt by both Americans and Iranians. “We are really getting a signal in the last few weeks and months that there have been lines drawn in the sand by the U.S. and Iran,” said Al Jazeera reporter Zein Basravi.
It is clear that there has been a lot of international tension created by America’s sanctions and Iran’s decision to quit certain parts of their nuclear agreement with several major world powers. It is unclear right now if any of these tensions will lead to violence, but the EU, U.S., and Iran should all try to make sure that this doesn’t happen. The countries involved in this are some of the most powerful and influential in the world and could easily do major damage to one another if these tensions continue to escalate. The U.S. should definitely be held accountable for some of the blame in this. After all, it was America’s decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal that led to a lot of what we are seeing today. The entire goal of this nuclear deal was to de-escalate nuclear tensions and promote peace. Now that the U.S. and Iran are both failing to cooperate, the end goal of peace is becoming farther and farther out of reach. Because of this, the actions of both the U.S. and Iran should be condemned by the international community.
These new tensions come at a very divisive time in international relations. Iran gave the remaining signatories of the deal the ultimatum of 60 days to protect the country from the U.S. sanctions. This comes as the EU has recently set up a new barter type system to skirt direct financial transactions with Iran to avoid sanctions for the U.S., according to the Washington Post. They also recently introduced a “blocking statue.” This basically protects European companies from being affected by sanctions coming from the United States. All of this has led to the tensions that we are seeing today.
It is unclear what exactly will happen next in these ongoing negotiations. President Trump hasn’t exactly had the most peaceful relationship with Iran, and we might be seeing more sanctions in the near future. If Iran completely pulls out of the nuclear deal, the ramifications could be catastrophic. It should be of the upmost priority for all major world powers to make sure that this does not happen. All countries that have nuclear capabilities should try and work together to make sure that a global disaster on this scale will never occur.
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