The Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and the United Kingdom (the “E3 Foreign Ministers“) have today released a statement that they are triggering the dispute resolution mechanism in relation to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA“), following Iran’s decision to no longer abide by the uranium enrichment limits of the JCPOA (see our earlier blog post on this here).

In their statement, the E3 Foreign Ministers highlighted that they have triggered the dispute resolution mechanism in good faith, with the objective of preserving the JCPOA and bringing Iran back into full compliance with its commitments.

The EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, will be the Coordinator of the Joint Commission. He stated that the aim of the dispute resolution mechanism is to resolve issues and echoed the E3 Foreign Ministers’ intention “to preserve the JCPOA in the sincere hope of finding a way forward to resolve the impasse through constructive diplomatic dialogue.” Borrell also emphasised that the dispute resolution mechanism requires the good faith of all parties and that, given current escalations in the Middle East, “the preservation of the JCPOA is now more important than ever.”

In summary, any party to the JCPOA can trigger the dispute resolution mechanism, if they believe that one of the parties to the JCPOA is no longer meeting its commitments. The E3 Foreign Ministers today registered their concerns in relation to Iran and referred the matter to the Joint Commission. Doing so has triggered a prescribed set of steps aimed to preserve and renew Iran’s commitment to the JCPOA but which can ultimately lead to the re-imposition of UN sanctions targeting Iran.

A client alert covering the dispute resolution in detail will follow shortly. BM will also be holding a webinar entitled “The End of the JCPOA?” on Thursday 16 January at 4pm (BST); the webinar will address the effects of the possible reintroduction of UN and EU sanctions on Iran given recent developments; the new US sanctions targeting Iran will also be covered.