What Happened: The European member states of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal aren't planning to invoke the agreement's dispute resolution mechanism, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has said, Politico reported July 15. She added that shareholders of INSTEX, an instrument that is designed to support trade between Europe and Iran, were mulling whether the mechanism could facilitate oil transactions.
Why It Matters: According to Mogherini, the European Union doesn't consider Iran's breaches of the JCPOA earlier this month significant enough to trigger the dispute resolution mechanism. Meanwhile, if European countries decide to use INSTEX to facilitate crude oil trade, it would face various difficulties, including potential U.S. sanctions and a long search for refiners that are willing to process Iranian crude.
Background: Iran has been slowly decreasing its commitments under the JCPOA over the last two months in response to the U.S. sanctions strategy of maximum pressure. Tehran, meanwhile, first said it would enrich uranium beyond 3.67 percent to 4.5 percent before threatening to increase enrichment levels to 20 percent.
- Iran Goes All in for a Game of Nuclear Chicken (July 11, 2019)
- Tehran Journeys Down a Provocative Nuclear Path (July 8, 2019)
- Why the U.S. Plan to Protect Tankers in the Persian Gulf Won't Deter Iran (July 8, 2019)