Iranian 60-day ultimatum to Europe arrives today

The 60-day ultimatum given by Iran to European signatories of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to uphold their

Iran photo

Abdein Taherkenareh/EPA

The 60-day ultimatum given by Iran to European signatories of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to uphold their end of the nuclear deal expires today.

Tehran has vowed to downgrade its commitment to the 2015 nuclear deal every 60 days unless European signatories can provide relief from US sanction following Washington’s withdrawal from the deal last year. Yesterday, Iran announced that it had increased its uranium enrichment levels well beyond the 3.67% mark allowed under the deal. For its part, Europe has been more concerned about complying with American sanctions than providing relief to Iran.

Moving forward, expect continued provocations, such as increased enrichment levels and attacks on oil shipments. Iran’s intention is to either convince US to return to the negotiating table or split Europe from Washington’s sanctions policy. However, Tehran must tread lightly as the prospect of a military confrontation with the US looms. Likewise, should Iran cross an unacceptable red line, European signatories could press the UN Security Council to implement “snapback sanctions” laid out under the agreement, which would further hamstring the country’s economy.

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