German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Europe has made its choice regarding the historic 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran — which the United States has been attempting to sabotage — and will honor the agreement.
Officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the deal was originally struck between Iran on the one side and Germany, France, the United Kingdom, China, Russia, and the US on the other. Washington, however, breached and then unilaterally pulled out of the deal in 2018. It has since been trying to stymie the agreement by imposing sanctions on Iran and its international trade partners, including Europe.
Those attempts by the US have ratcheted up tensions with Iran, which has stopped complying with some of its obligations under the deal, arguing that Europe is failing to make the deal work for Iran economically as planned.
“Step by step, we will keep trying to find solutions with Iran that prevent an escalation of tensions in a globally sensitive region. That’s our job,” Chancellor Merkel said on Wednesday.
The JCPOA has been ratified in the form of a United Nations Security Council resolution, making both the US’s withdrawal and its imposition of the sanctions illegal.
Despite recurrent promises by Europe to offset the adverse effects of American actions on its implementation of the deal, Iran has of yet been dissatisfied, insisting that words should be followed up by real action.
Europe is contractually bound to guarantee Tehran’s business interests, something it stopped doing after Washington imposed its bans.
European companies started leaving the Iranian market — some of them even before the American sanctions had taken effect — for fear of US sanctions and/or losing transactions with the US.