Europe’s three major powers announced Friday they oppose lifting an arms embargo on Iran that expires later this year.
Foreign ministers from Germany, France and the UK said Iran’s nuclear program, ballistic missile tests and “destabilizing regional activities” remained a serious concern for Europe.
“We believe that the planned lifting of the UN conventional arms embargo established by Resolution 2231 next October would have major implications for regional security and stability,” the ministers said in a joint statement following a meeting in Berlin.
“We recall that the EU embargoes on conventional arms exports and missile technology will remain in force until 2023,” according to the statement.
The ministers said they would continue talks with UN Security Council members, particularly Russia and China, but also with other key stakeholders.
UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which enshrined the 2015 nuclear deal between world powers and Tehran, envisages easing the arms embargo beginning in October.
Earlier this month, the US proposed a draft UN Security resolution to “indefinitely” extend the embargo, but Russia and China signaled opposition.
In 2015, world powers including the US, China, Russia, France, Germany and the UK agreed to lift economic sanctions on Iran in return for Tehran agreeing to limit its nuclear activity to civilian purposes.
But US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the deal in 2018 and intensified pressure on Tehran by re-imposing broader sanctions.
Despite their criticism of Iran’s nuclear program and activities in the region, Germany, France and the UK have repeatedly underlined their commitment to the 2015 deal and urged Tehran to return to full compliance with the agreement.
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