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Europe may call out Iran’s nuclear violations

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Significance

France, Germany and the United Kingdom (the E3) have warned that if Iran breaks more of its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), they are ready to initiate the accord’s dispute resolution mechanism, which could lead to snapback UN sanctions and the end of the agreement.

Impacts

  • Further Iranian testing of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles would be an additional provocation for the E3.
  • Tehran’s advanced centrifuge testing is mostly for show: the real research gains come from smaller, laboratory-scale improvements.
  • US presidential and Iranian parliamentary elections due in 2020 will be key to political calculations on both sides.
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