Europeans set to toughen Iran response over nuclear violations: diplomats

Paris (Reuters) – European parties to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal could launch a dispute resolution process this week that might lead to renewed U.N. sanctions on Tehran, European diplomats said.

Iran took a further step back from its commitments to the 2015 pact with six world powers by announcing on Sunday that it would scrap limits on enriching uranium, though it said it would continue to cooperate with the U.N. nuclear watchdog.

Its decision followed the killing of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in a U.S. drone strike.

Iran has criticized Britain, France and Germany for failing to salvage the pact by shielding Tehran’s economy from U.S. sanctions, reimposed since 2018 when Washington pulled out of the agreement.

Confirming an emergency meeting of the European Union’s 28 foreign ministers would take place on Friday, an EU diplomat said: “We must be ready to react to Iran’s breaches of the nuclear deal.”

Asked whether this could mean triggering a mechanism that could result in international sanctions being reimposed on Tehran, the envoy said: “It is increasingly likely, but not yet decided. Friday will be key.”

Two other diplomats said France, Britain and Germany could make the decision before Friday.

Asked whether the mechanism would be triggered, one of the diplomats said: “Not later than Friday, but yes.”