Robert HARNEIS -TDO- (FRANCE)- European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has said the United States has clearly withdrawn from the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and could no longer claim to be a party to that agreement.

His remarks come in the context of the attempts by the US to impose a UN arms embargo on Iran under the terms in the JCPOA that allow for its re-imposition if Iran does not abide by the terms of the agreement.

The accord, which Iran signed with the U.S., Britain, Germany, France, China, Russia and the EU in 2015, has been unraveling since U.S. President Donald Trump pulled Washington out in 2018 and reinstated sanctions under what the U.S. called a “maximum pressure” campaign. But speaking to reporters after talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell insisted that since the U.S. has pulled out of the nuclear deal, it can no longer claim to have a role in it.

“The United States has withdrawn from the JCPOA, and now they cannot claim that they are still part of the JCPOA in order to deal with this issue from the JCPOA agreement. They withdrew. It’s clear. They withdrew,” Borrell said.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft have said that extending a permanent arms embargo against Iran is now a top priority for Washington.

On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused the Trump administration of unleashing a politically motivated campaign against Iran and he called for “universal condemnation” of the US attempt to get the UN Security Council to impose a permanent arms embargo.

Although the EU has struggled to keep the pact alive despite U.S. pressure, Borrell is tasked with supervising the way the pact is applied and to help resolve disputes between the parties. This is particularly important as the pact is regarded as the main achievement of EU foreign policy.

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