British Ambassador to Israel Neil Wigan said on Wednesday he thinks that the European powers' appeal to a dispute resolution mechanism in the nuclear deal is Iran's last opportunity to come back into compliance with the agreement.
"Certainly, for Iran, it [the European appeal] is a turning point. Iran has a key decision to make about what path it wants to go down," Wigan told Ynet.
"We and our French and German partners have been very clear that Iran has an opportunity to deescalate tensions in the region, to properly investigate what happened with the downed Ukrainian flight and on the nuclear deal to come back into compliance. If not, we'll go down the route of dispute resolution mechanism," he said.
"We've triggered the dispute resolution mechanism under the nuclear deal, given that Iran has now taken five steps of non-compliance and critically around the number of centrifuges. There now will be a process to give Iran an opportunity to come back into compliance. If not, Iran faces the end of their nuclear deal and return of sanctions," Wigan said.
We think Iran has a last opportunity to come back into compliance with the deal. We think the deal is the best way of stopping Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, but we're very clear that Iran needs to make that decision now. Particularly, against the backdrop of regional tensions after [Revolutionary Guards Corps Gen.] Qassem Soleimani's death and after the downing of the airliner."
When asked about the arrest of British Ambassador to Iran Robert Macaire, Wigan said the United Kingdom sees the step as a "breach of international law" and that the Iranian ambassador in London had been summoned to provide an explanation.
"We've been very clear that arresting our ambassador was a breach of international law," Wigan said.
"We summoned the Iranian ambassador into London to make clear our displeasure. We are very clear what Iran needs to do if it wants to be treated as a responsible member of the international community and that some of its activities in the region around the nuclear program need to change quickly.
"We have always agreed that Iran's negative activities in the region directed against Israel, but also directed at other states in the region and other Muslims, should stop and we work closely with Israel and other partners, including the U.S., to try to stop and roll back those activities across the region."
Iran's official news agency said Tuesday that Macaire left the country following his brief arrest.
Macaire was detained for several hours last weekend during a rally in Tehran following the downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane by the Iranian army.
According to Iranian claims , Macaire filmed the demonstration and "incited protesters" at Amir Kabir University in the Iranian capital.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab called the arrest a “flagrant violation” of international law.
France, Britain and Germany formally triggered the dispute mechanism in Iran's nuclear deal with world powers on Tuesday, the strongest step they have taken so far to enforce an agreement that requires Iran to curb its nuclear program.
Iran says it began to breach the deal following the decision by U.S. President Donald Trump in 2018 to walk away from it.