Following reports that Iran has begun large-scale efforts in the stockpiling of uranium, European leaders are urging Tehran to reconsider its decision.
The diplomatic chiefs of the European Union, France, Germany and the United Kingdom said their countries were “extremely concerned” about reports that Iran had broken the 300kg limit on the stockpiling of uranium set forth by the 2015 deal signed by world leaders.
In a joint statement, the foreign ministries of the four governments urged Iran to reverse its decision to breach a limit on enriched uranium reserves under a 2015 nuclear deal.
“We urge Iran to reverse this step and to refrain from further measures that undermine the nuclear deal,” it read. The declaration was signed by Frances Jean-Yves Le Drian, Germany’s Heiko Maas, Britain’s Jeremy Hunt, as well as E.U. diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini.
Iran’s strategy since Trump’s pull-out from the deal has been to strongarm the European signatories into softening the effects of the reimposed American sanctions. The tangible effects of Iran’s financial distress have made the regime reckless. Only six weeks ago, Iranian diplomats demanded from their European counterparts to triple (yes, triple) their purchases, under threat of Tehran leaving the nuclear deal.
It’s important to understand that the Europeans have been desperately trying to accommodate Iran for over a year. Pretty much the entire continent still (foolishly) believes the best strategy for containing the Islamic Republic is appeasement. The European signatories even created an entire financial network from scratch in order to circumvent U.S. sanctions and continue doing business with Iran.
But with Iran’s hardball tactics, even the Europeans are finding it difficult to play nice. At least some diplomats are already talking about joining the U.S. and reimposing sanctions on Tehran.