What Happened: Three Republican U.S. senators have written a letter to U.S. President Donald Trump asking him to invoke the dispute settlement clause of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231 — which implements the provisions of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal — despite Washington's withdrawal from the agreement, Bloomberg reported July 12. In the meantime, the International Atomic Energy Agency has found evidence of radioactive material at a so-called Iranian nuclear archive during an inspection, according to Israeli media reports.
Why It Matters: Given that the European member states of the JCPOA are not currently planning to invoke the deal's dispute settlement process, any U.S. attempt to unilaterally trigger it is unlikely to succeed until the other participating countries decide to back it. Meanwhile, if the Israeli report is confirmed, it could provide the United States with evidence to convince other European countries to support a more aggressive strategy against Iran.
Background: Last week, Iran announced that its stockpiles of low enriched uranium had exceeded the limits stipulated in the JCPOA. Then, earlier this week, Tehran said it had begun enriching uranium above the 3.67 percent limit permitted by the nuclear deal.
- 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)