ran’s recent breaches of the 2015 nuclear deal are not significant and can be reversed, the European Union’s foreign policy chief says.
“We invite Iran to reverse the steps and go back to full compliance,” Federica Mogherini said on Monday.
Iran stepped up production of enriched uranium, used to make reactor fuel but also potentially nuclear bombs, in May.
It is responding to sanctions imposed by the US since it withdrew unilaterally from the agreement.
The breaches come amid heightened tensions between Iran and the US.
There has been tension with the UK, too, following the UK seizure of an Iranian oil tanker earlier this month suspected of taking oil to Syria in breach of sanctions. Iran denies this.
“Technically all the steps that have been taken, and that we regret have been taken, are reversible,” Ms Mogherini said, following a meeting of EU foreign ministers.
She said none of the signatories to the deal considered the breaches to be significant, and so they would not be triggering its dispute mechanism which could lead to further sanctions.
The meeting in Brussels was focused on reducing tensions with Iran and ensuring the nuclear deal remains in place.
Why does saving the Iran nuclear deal matter?
Even if Iran does not actually build a nuclear warhead, it only has to reach the point at which it COULD produce one for its nervous neighbours to decide this is too much of a risk.
They will want their own one too – as a deterrent.
Statements from Saudi Arabia, Iran’s Middle East rival, have made it clear the country would not accept a nuclear-armed Iran.
So then, as stated by diplomats in Brussels, we are into a nuclear arms race.
What does that mean in practice?
In all probability Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt would all want to become nuclear weapons powers, with the potential to obliterate entire cities.
Finally, there is the risk that should Iran ever go nuclear some fear it could pass on a warhead to a non-state militia like Hezbollah.
This is why the Iran nuclear deal matters, even if you don’t live anywhere near the Gulf.