Russia warns EU decision to motion a dispute over Iran deal risks 'new escalation'

Russia warns EU decision to motion a dispute over Iran deal risks 'new escalation'
Moscow has warned the European Union's decision to put the Iranian nuclear deal in dispute could have far-reaching ramifications for the region.
2 min read
14 January, 2020
Russia believes the deal still has legs [Getty]

Russia has condemned the EU move to put the Iran nuclear deal in dispute on Tuesday, warning it risked causing a "new escalation."

"We do not rule out that the thoughtless actions of the Europeans could lead to a new escalation around the Iranian nuclear accord," the foreign ministry said in a statement, with worries that this would plunge the region into potential conflict.

The warning comes as EU signatories decided to trigger a dispute mechanism in the accord over Tehran's decision to suspend compliance on key parts of the deal.

After urging Iran to remain dedicated to the deal last week, France, Germany and the UK released a joint statement informing the EU earlier today that they had set off the mechanism.

The world leaders claimed this was done to save the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The motion will not reinitiate sanctions against Iran, and will allow the E3 to officially "register our concerns" on Iran not meeting its commitments.

The consequences of the motion remain unclear, but their decision appears to have worried Moscow who last week said Iran was still in compliance with the deal and along with Turkey's President Erdogan called for calm. 

Iran responded by calling Europe's measure "passive" and Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Abbas Mousavi said "practically" it was not a new measure.

"We do not accept the argument that Iran is entitled to reduce compliance with the JCPoA," the statement read. "Iran's actions are inconsistent with the provisions of the nuclear agreement and have increasingly severe and non-reversible proliferation implications."

"The E3 remain fully committed to this diplomatic effort and intend to resume it as soon as conditions allow," the statement added, insisting the countries' "objective [is] preserving the JCPoA".

The statement added: "Our three countries are not joining a campaign to implement maximum pressure against Iran."

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