Sole solution to peace and stability in Middle East

The historic nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) that Iran signed with the P5+1 is on the brink of collapse after the US unilaterally withdrew from the deal, while Iran and three European countries have suggested the possibility of “letting it go”. Meanwhile, Russia has called for everyone’s best efforts to protect this fragile deal which has been profoundly impacted by various disagreements.

Russia’s permanent representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), M. Ulyanov warned that countries signing a nuclear deal with Iran should avoid disputes that could harm the JCPoA. The Russian Foreign Ministry also urged the parties concerned to seek solutions to the current crisis without resorting to emergency measures.

Moscow’s call came after the E3 group (the UK, France and Germany) threatened to jointly trigger the dispute resolution mechanism (DRM) in the deal, according to which the UN Security Council’s sanctions against Iran could be restored.

Meanwhile, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy J. Borrell said that that he received a letter from Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif regarding Tehran's concerns over the implementation of the deal by France, Germany and the UK through the Dispute Resolution Mechanism.

Both Iran and the E3 threatened to activate the DRM as a result of unresolved disagreements. The two sides have accused each other of failing to comply with the commitments in the JCPoA. Iran has undermined its commitments after criticising the E3 for not fulfilling its promise to protect Iran's interests from US sanctions.

Teresa said that the European countries have been under pressure from Washington. Meanwhile, the three European nations recently initiated a draft resolution at the IAEA Governor’s Council, paving the way for sanctions against Iran.

In the context of Iran and the European powers continuing to feel tension due to the problematic approach to resolving JCPOA-related disputes, Russia is seeking to save the agreement from collapse, considering it a measure to salvage the relationship between Iran and the West.

The Russian view is that all issues arising during the implementation of the JCPoA should be addressed within the Joint Committee and should not be invoked with emergency measures.

US sanctions have made Iran's trade turnover with the US in the first five months of this year reach only US$20 million, down 51.1% over the same period last year. Before the US re-imposed sanctions on Iran's economic and energy sectors, trade turnover between Iran and the US in 2018 increased by 155% compared to 2017. The US applying the maximum amount of pressure aimed to bring Iran's oil exports to zero.

However, Iran has taken measures to deal with the US sanctions. In addition to implementing measures to reduce its dependence on oil revenues, Iran is trying to find new ways to export oil, avoiding a key energy transport route in the Strait of Hormuz, where the current tenuous situation may affect the region's oil supply.

At a recent online meeting of the UN Security Council, the UN representative expressed concern that both the US and Iran have taken steps which have negatively affected the JCPoA. The international community called for restraint from the parties in order to reduce confrontation and return to adherence to the historic nuclear deal, considering it may be the only way to maintain peace and stability in the Middle East.