Officials from China, Russia, France, Germany and the UK will meet with Iran in Vienna on December 6 to discuss how to uphold the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran, the European Union said in a statement on November 26.
“The Joint Commission will be chaired by European External Action Service Secretary General Helga-Maria Schmid and will be attended by the E3+2 (China, France, Germany, Russia, United Kingdom) and Iran,” the EU said.
The US unilaterally pulled out of the nuclear deal in May 2018 claiming it was not restrictive enough on Iran’s nuclear development programme and did not place required curbs on the Iranians’ ballistic missile development programme or on Tehran’s backing of various militias across Middle East conflict zones.
However, Iran was in full compliance with the accord when the US walked out.
The nuclear deal was drawn up to protect Iran from major sanctions in return for compliance. And Tehran requested that the remaining signatories, particularly the European powers, help protect its trade and wider economy from the crushing sanctions introduced by the US after it exited the deal. But they have, in the eyes of Iran’s leaders, almost entirely failed to do so. Thus Iran has in recent months been scaling down its compliance with the accord with an eye on resigning from the agreement if the Europeans do not respond to the non-compliance pressure by providing economic assistance. The Vienna meeting could serve as a crossroads in this high stakes geopolitical affair.
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