On 5 January, Tehran announced it would no longer comply with the limitations on the nation’s nuclear programme specified under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) following tensions with Washington in light of a US drone strike that killed top military commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Qasem Soleimani.
UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said that he will be looking “hard” at what happens next with the Iranian nuclear deal following Tehran’s refusal to comply with the JCPOA. The official noted that he wants to see Iran come back to “full compliance” with the deal, Reuters reported.
“We’ve obviously been committed to the JCPOA, but we’ve reached a point where non-compliance has been so acute in the most recent steps taken by Iran that obviously we’re going to be looking very hard at what should happen next”, Raab said.
British PM Boris Johnson earlier said that the UK would still stand behind the agreement, while European leaders called upon Iran to avoid non-compliance with the treaty.
Tehran announced on 5 January that it would no longer comply with the limits of the 2015 nuclear deal, which was set to considerably reduce Iran’s nuclear programme and its stockpile of medium- and low-enriched uranium in exchange for the removal of international sanctions. The country announced that it would now start enriching uranium based on its technical needs and in a “peaceful” manner.
The development follows an escalation of tensions between Washington and Tehran after Iran’s top military commander Qasem Soleimani was killed by a US drone strike on 3 January near Baghdad International Airport, an assassination Tehran promised to avenge. On 8 January, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard targeted American military facilities in Erbil and the Ayn al-Asad Air Base in Iraq, where international coalition military forces are housed.
The JCPOA was signed in 2015 by Iran, the European Union, and the P5+1 group – the United Kingdom, the United States, China, Russia, France, and Germany. However, the Trump administration unilaterally withdrew from the deal in 2018 then re-imposed economic sanctions on Tehran, vowing to slap secondary restrictions on countries maintaining a trade relationship with the Islamic Republic.
Washington’s move prompted Tehran to start backtracking on its commitments to the deal, while the latter urged other signatories to safeguard trade from the US economic blockade to keep the agreement alive.