European Nations Maintain Sanctions on Iran to Prevent Sale of Drones and Missiles to Russia

The United Kingdom (UK), France, and Germany have announced their decision to retain sanctions on Iran in an effort to discourage the country from selling drones and missiles to Russia. These sanctions were originally imposed as part of a 2015 nuclear deal, which is set to have some sanctions lifted next month. However, the European nations argue that Iran violated the terms of the deal by enriching and storing uranium. This move by Iran has raised concerns as highly enriched uranium can be used to create nuclear weapons.

The key motivation behind the decision to maintain sanctions is the prevention of Iran’s development and exportation of ballistic missiles and drones. Despite the existing sanctions, it has been observed that many drones produced in Iran have been utilized by Russia during its conflict with Ukraine. In order to incorporate the expiring United Nations (UN) sanctions into their own laws, the European powers have announced the continuation of these measures.

The nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was agreed upon by Iran and a group of world powers called the P5+1 – the US, UK, France, China, Russia, and Germany – eight years ago. The agreement established limitations on Iran’s sensitive nuclear activities and allowed for international inspections in exchange for the lifting of severe economic sanctions. Additionally, the deal involved the asset freeze of individuals and organizations believed to be aiding the advancement of Iran’s nuclear program.

It is important to note that countries such as Russia and China will no longer be obligated to adhere to these restrictions if they fail to adopt similar sanctions to those implemented by the UK, France, and Germany before October 18th. The E3, as the latter three countries are collectively referred to, have declared that these sanctions will remain in place until Iran is “fully compliant” with the terms of the nuclear deal.

Iran has strongly criticized this decision, claiming that it violates the obligations of the E3 under both the JCPOA and UN Security Council Resolution 2231. This resolution specifically requires Iran to refrain from engaging in any activities related to ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons. The E3, on the other hand, justifies their decision by highlighting Iran’s refusal to return to the JCPOA on two occasions and their continuous expansion of their nuclear program beyond the agreed limitations without any credible justification.

The United States, under the presidency of Donald Trump, unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018, further complicating the dynamics surrounding the nuclear deal. This decision caused additional strain on the agreement and its effectiveness.

In conclusion, the UK, France, and Germany have opted to maintain sanctions on Iran in order to prevent the country from selling drones and missiles to Russia. These sanctions are part of the nuclear deal established in 2015, which aims to curtail Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. Despite the withdrawal of the US from the agreement, the European nations are determined to uphold their end of the deal by requiring Iran to be fully compliant. However, Iran’s violation of the deal through uranium enrichment and storage has prompted this response. The repercussions of this decision may impact Iran’s economic stability and international relationships, while also influencing the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.