- U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear agreement in 2018.
- The current tensions between the Iran and the United States have put the rest of the world on alert.
- European leaders are actively involved, hoping to ease tensions.
Iran announced, through its national television station Sunday, that it would no longer comply with any restrictions under the 2015 Nuclear Agreement (JCPOA). Although Tehran will continue to cooperate with the United Nations’ nuclear oversight agency, the (IAEA), it will no longer fully comply with the restrictions of the nuclear agreement, with the intervention of France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
Six nations reached a landmark nuclear agreement in 2015, but Iran now emphasizes that it will no longer set limits on uranium enrichment capabilities. U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear agreement in 2018, and imposed sanctions on Tehran, putting the agreement on the verge of disintegration. An Iranian government spokesman said Sunday’s decision could be reversed if the United States lifts current sanctions.
The current tensions between the Iran and the United States have put the rest of the world on alert. According to the South China Morning Post, the Chinese embassy “suggests and reminds Chinese citizens in the US to closely watch the security situation, stay alert and take safety precautions, be cautious before going to public places.” In a statement Sunday, the embassy added, “anyone who fears or encounters a possible threat should contact the embassy or their local consulate, or call the Chinese foreign ministry’s 24-hour emergency hotline.”
Earlier, Iran had been accused by the United Kingdom, Germany, and France of violating the terms of the agreement not to strengthen the uranium enrichment program. The three countries, also known as the E3 group, called on Iran to refrain from any violent action and urged the Islamic Republic to re-comply with the terms of the nuclear agreement. Berlin said E3’s respective leaders agreed Sunday to help avoid escalation of the conflict.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel talked over the phone with French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. A German spokesman said “the Chancellor, the French President, and the British Prime Minister agreed to work together to ease tensions in the region.” Macron and Johnson both said Sunday they would unite with their allies, and called on Iran to refrain from any action that could lead to a military escalation.
Johnson said Qasem Soleimani was the main cause of destabilizing the region, killing thousands of innocent civilians and Westerners. He emphasized that he would not regret his death. However, he still called for easing tensions. Macron expressed similar views in Sunday’s statement. French officials urged Iran to stick to the nuclear agreement.
In 2015, according to an agreement negotiated between Iran and P5 + 1, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China, Russia and Germany, Tehran agreed to suspend the nuclear program in exchange for the international lifting of severe sanctions and unfreezing of billions of dollars in sanctions. The agreement allows Iran to retain small amounts of nuclear-related activities and uranium stocks for research and medical purposes.
However, that number is well below any threshold for the rapid development of nuclear weapons. In fact, Iran is allowed to continue its peaceful nuclear research. Iran has been suspected of breaching the agreement on several occasions since 2015. In 2018, Trump dominated the US’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal, making it even more complicated.