In 2015, Iran clinched a landmark nuclear deal with a group of countries then known as the P5+1 — Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany.
However, US President Donald Trump in 2018 unilaterally pulled his country out of the deal – officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) - and re-imposed the sanctions that had been lifted under the deal.
On August 20, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Washington formally triggered a 30-day process at the UNSC leading to a return of virtually all the UN sanctions on Iran on September 20.
He cited what he claimed to be Iranian violations of the JCPOA, to which the US is no longer a party.
On Friday, the permanent representatives of the UK, Germany and France said in a joint letter to the 15-member UNSC that any decision or action taken to restore the UN sanctions “would be incapable of legal effect.”
“In this letter, we expressed our shared view that the purported notification under paragraph 11 of UNSCR 2231 (2015) received from the United States of America and circulated to the UN Security Council Members is incapable of having legal effect and so cannot bring into effect the procedure foreseen under OP 11. It flows from this that any decision and actions which would be taken based on this procedure or on its possible outcome would also be incapable of having any effect,” read part of the joint letter by the UN envoys of the three European countries, known as E3.
The E3 further said that they had “worked tirelessly to preserve the nuclear agreement and remain committed to do so.” They also stressed they would remain committed to “fully implementing” a 2015 Security Council resolution that endorses the JCPOA.