Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kanaani criticized Tuesday a recent decision by the European Council to maintain sanctions on Tehran that were supposed to be lifted on Wednesday under a 2015 nuclear deal.
In a statement released by the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Kanaani described the European Council’s decision as “unilateral, illegal and politically unjustifiable.”
He said the move is an “explicit violation” of the commitments of the European Union (EU) and the E3 group of France, Britain and Germany under the nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorsed the agreement.
In a statement published on its website on Tuesday, the European Council said it “decided to take the necessary steps to maintain the restrictive measures under the EU non-proliferation regime on Iran.”
“The council evaluated that there are valid reasons to refrain from lifting these restrictions on Transition Day (Oct. 18, 2023), as originally foreseen under the JCPOA,” it added.
Iran signed the JCPOA with world powers in July 2015, agreeing to put some curbs on its nuclear program in return for the removal of sanctions on the country. The United States, however, pulled out of the deal in May 2018 and reimposed its unilateral sanctions on Tehran, prompting the latter to drop some of its nuclear commitments under the deal.
The talks on the revival of the JCPOA began in April 2021 in Vienna, Austria. Despite several rounds of talks, no significant breakthrough has been achieved since the end of the last round in August 2022.