“E3 must stop public face-saving & muster the courage to state publicly what they admit privately: their failure to fulfill even own JCPOA duties due to total impotence in resisting US bullying,” Zarif tweeted on Friday, referring to the 2015 nuclear deal Iran signed with world powers including the three European countries.
“Behind (the) facade, E3 are accessories to (US President Donald) Trump & (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu—& in no position to counsel Iran,” he added.
On Friday, the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) passed a resolution – put forward by Britain, France, and Germany – to push for IAEA inspections of two sites in Iran to clarify whether undeclared nuclear activity took place there in the early 2000s.
Zarif had said on Thursday that “an agreeable solution is possible” for the IAEA’s request for access to the two nuclear sites.
The resolution was carried by 25 votes in favor versus two against, with seven abstentions: South Africa, India, Pakistan, Thailand, Mongolia, Azerbaijan, and Niger.
Russia and China, parties to Iran’s nuclear deal, voted against.
“While Iran has the highest level of cooperation with the IAEA, the issuance of a resolution by the Board of Governors is a completely unconstructive and disappointing step,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi said in the statement.
Even though the sites in question are not thought to be directly relevant to Iran's current nuclear program, the agency says it needs to know if activities going back almost two decades have been properly declared and all materials accounted for.
Despite the row over the two sites, the IAEA says it still has the access it needs to inspect Iran's declared nuclear facilities, as per its mandate under the JCPOA.
Succumbing to Washington’s pressure, the three European countries have failed to honor their commitments under the landmark nuclear agreement and offset the impacts of US sanctions, which were reimposed on Iran following the US withdrawal from the deal in May 2018.
A year after the US pullout, Iran began to reduce its commitments in retaliation.
Iran has previously hinted that a resolution along the lines of the one passed Friday could cause "complication and difficulties" for the future of the 2015 accord.
Europe against sanctions snapback
The three European signatories to the Iran nuclear deal said on Friday they would not back US efforts to unilaterally trigger the reimposition of United Nations sanctions on Iran, but said they wanted talks with Tehran over its rollback of commitments to the 2015 nuclear accord.
Under, the landmark deal, a UN ban on selling weapons – such as battle tanks, combat aircraft, warships and missiles or missile systems – to Iran is due to expire in October. The United States says it wants to extend the embargo though it pulled out of the deal.
If the UN Security Council does not extend the embargo, Washington has threatened to trigger a so-called snapback of all UN sanctions on Iran, using a process outlined in the nuclear deal.
“We firmly believe that any unilateral attempt to trigger UN sanctions snapback would have serious adverse consequences in the UN Security Council,” the foreign ministers of the three European countries said in a statement.
“We would not support such a decision, which would be incompatible with our current efforts to preserve the JCPOA,” they said after discussing Iran in Berlin.
France, Germany, and Britain said they had reservations about lifting the arms embargo.
"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 European ministers said.
President Hassan Rouhani earlier this month urged UN Security Council members to oppose a US "conspiracy" to extend the arms embargo.
The three European powers said they plan to address the arms embargo issue "in close coordination" with UN Security Council permanent members, Russia and China.
The E3 ministers said they hoped to hold a ministerial meeting with Iran to discuss its rollback of the nuclear deal and assess a mechanism they had launched in January aimed at resolving differences within its framework.
“We remain committed to the JCPOA and, in order to preserve it, urge Iran to reverse all measures inconsistent with the agreement and return to full compliance without delay,” they said.
Reuters, AFP, and Press TV contributed to this story.