The Sixth Seal Is Past Due (Revelation 6:12) 

by , 03/22/11

filed under: News

New York City may appear to be an unlikely place for a major earthquake, but according to history, we’re past due for a serious shake. Seismologists at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory say that about once every 100 years, an earthquake of at least a magnitude of 5.0 rocks the Big Apple. The last one was a 5.3 tremor that hit in 1884 — no one was killed, but buildings were damaged.

Any tremor above a 6.0 magnitude can be catastrophic, but it is extremely unlikely that New York would ever experience a quake like the recent 8.9 earthquake in Japan. A study by the Earth Observatory found that a 6.0 quake hits the area about every 670 years, and a 7.0 magnitude hits about every 3,400 years.

There are several fault lines in New York’s metro area, including one along 125th Street, which may have caused two small tremors in 1981 and a 5.2 magnitude quake in 1737. There is also a fault line on Dyckman Street in Inwood, and another in Dobbs Ferry in Westchester County. The New York City Area Consortium for Earthquake Loss Mitigationrates the chance of an earthquake hitting the city as moderate.

John Armbruster, a seismologist at the Earth Observatory, said that if a 5.0 magnitude quake struck New York today, it would result in hundreds of millions, possibly billions of dollars in damages. The city’s skyscrapers would not collapse, but older brick buildings and chimneys would topple, likely resulting in casualities.

The Earth Observatory is expanding its studies of potential earthquake damage to the city. They currently have six seismometers at different landmarks throughout the five boroughs, and this summer, they plan to place one at the arch in Washington Square Park and another in Bryant Park.

Won-Young Kim, who works alongside Armbuster, says his biggest concern is that we can’t predict when an earthquake might hit. “It can happen anytime soon,” Kim told the Metro. If it happened tomorrow, he added, “I would not be surprised. We can expect it any minute, we just don’t know when and where.”

Armbuster voiced similar concerns to the Daily News. “Will there be one in my lifetime or your lifetime? I don’t know,” he said. “But this is the longest period we’ve gone without one.”

Via Metro and NY Daily News

Images © Ed Yourdon

IAEA steps up pressure on the Iranian Horn

IAEA steps up pressure on Iran: Update 2

Updates with changes throughout

The UN’s nuclear watchdog has stepped up pressure on Iran over inspection access, with its first formal call in nearly eight years for Tehran to co-operate.

The IAEA has adopted a resolution after months of more informal public requests by its director-general, Rafael Grossi, for inspectors to be permitted access to locations and for clarification on possible undeclared nuclear material and nuclear-related activities in Iran. This is the first such formal resolution on Iran that the IAEA has adopted since September 2012.

Unfettered IAEA access to Iran’s nuclear facilities was a key part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal, under which Iran was freed of US and EU sanctions and allowed to export its crude unhindered. But this deal has been unravelling since the US pulled out of the deal and reimposed sanctions in 2018.

Tehran said in January that it would take a “fifth and final” step to reduce compliance with the deal by removing restrictions placed on the number of centrifuges installed at its two uranium enrichment sites in Natanz and Fordow. Shortly after that move the JCPOA’s three European signatories — France, Germany and the UK — triggered the deal’s dispute mechanism, although nothing tangible came from it.

Iran’s “nuclear breakout” — the time required to enrich its existing uranium stockpile to weapons-grade material — has shrunk to three months from the JCPOA benchmark of one year, Institute for Science and International Security president David Albright projects. “Obviously, we do not fear they are going to do that right now — it is a benchmark.”

Significantly, the resolution adopted by the IAEA today was put forward by the three European governments. Their foreign ministers met today in Berlin where they again affirmed their commitment to the JCPOA.

“We must address shared concerns about Iran’s nuclear programme, its ballistic missile programme and its destabilising regional activities in the long term. To this end, we continue to believe that the strategy of maximum pressure will not effectively serve this goal,” they said, referring to a phrase that the US government has used to describe its strategy on Iran.

The three said that they will seek a ministerial-level meeting with the Iranian government “to take stock”, and said that any unilateral attempt to trigger fresh UN sanctions on Iran would be incompatible with their efforts to preserve the JCPOA.

The Europeans are pushing back against a US threat to invoke a UN Security Council “snapback” provision that would require the EU to impose economic sanctions if Tehran violates the terms of the nuclear deal.

US officials say they are considering the move as a way to force the UN Security Council to extend an embargo on arms sales to Iran that expires in October.

But the gambit — which involves making a legal claim that the US is still a JCPOA member for that particular purpose, despite the earlier withdrawal — may have more to do with ensuring that the nuclear deal cannot be restored regardless of the outcome of the US presidential election in November.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly called the deal the “worst ever”. The presumptive Democratic nominee in the presidential race, former vice president Joe Biden, has said that if he wins the presidency, the US will resume its commitments under the JCPOA — including oil sanctions relief — so long as Iran resumes compliance with the deal. But that assumes a willing partner in Tehran, where enthusiasm for an agreement with the US has waned after Trump’s unilateral moves.

“If it is President Trump winning re-election, he wants to increase his leverage and the maximum pressure campaign” by pushing for a UN-mandated snapback, says Rich Goldberg, who directed the Iran sanctions effort at the White House in 2018-19. “If Joe Biden wins the election, he too benefits from a snapback,” Goldberg says. “Much better to have the benefit of the maximum pressure campaign sanctions and a reset of all the strategic restrictions on Iran.”

US sanctions have cut Iran’s crude exports by 2mn b/d but have fallen short of Washington’s professed objective of bringing shipments to zero.

By Ben Winkley and Haik Gugarats

Famine Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

‘1 million Palestinians face food shortages in Gaza’

GAZA City, Palestine

Around one million Palestinian refugees in Gaza face food shortages due to Israel’s continued blockade and slashed global funding for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, a welfare organization said on Saturday.

In a statement on the World Refugee Day, Jamal al-Khoudary, chairman of the Popular Committee to End Gaza’s Seige, said “a genuine decline” in support from donors has had “serious repercussions on the Palestinian refugees in Gaza, the West Bank, Jerusalem and other Arab states.”

He said the US’ decision to halt funds, estimated to be around $360 million annually, for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) two years ago had severely impacted the agency’s operations.

Moreover, he said, Israel’s blockade on Gaza since 2006 has resulted in skyrocketing levels of poverty and unemployment in the besieged area.

World Refugee Day is marked globally on June 20 and focuses on increasing awareness about the suffering of millions of refugees across the world.

* Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

Predicted nuclear winter at the first nuclear war (Revelation 8 )

‘Predicted nuclear winter’ could escalate from India, China clashes 

RMIT’s Joe Siracusa says the dispute between China and India is important as they all “have nuclear weapons,” and the Communist Party should be wary as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi “is not afraid of a war”. India claimed on Tuesday that 20 soldiers were killed by Chinese forces in border clashes which happened after several weeks of stand offs in the western Himalayas. “This clash is in the exact place where China and India fought a war in WWII,” Mr Siracusa told Sky News. He said he believed India will “increasingly turn to Japan, the United States and even to Australia” as clashes continue with China. “I think because of the pressure that China is putting on India, and keep in mind here, the Indians can give the Chinese a lesson here. “In the meantime, I think the Chinese will put a lot of pressure on Pakistan to put a lot of pressure on India”. “In 1962, all these people were going at each other, but they didn’t have nuclear weapons. “Today, all the players in south Asia have nuclear weapons. “And in exchange of 10 or 15 missiles there, warheads, would induce the nuclear winter there that Carl Sagan predicted in the 1980s. “Will they use nuclear weapons for a border dispute … not because they want to, but because it might escalate or accidentally move into that area.” Image: AP

The Last Nuclear Arms Race (Revelation 16)

This Nuclear Arms Race Is Worse Than the Last One

By Andreas Kluth | Bloomberg

As long as the pandemic rages, the world’s leaders are understandably preoccupied with the threat of disease. But there are other dangers to humanity that demand attention. One of the most frightening is nuclear war. Unfortunately, the risk of that happening keeps rising.

The headline numbers are misleading. Yes, the global stockpile of nuclear warheads decreased slightly last year, according to the latest report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. But that’s only because the U.S. and Russia, the two countries that still account for more than 90% of global nuclear stocks, dismantled some of their obsolescent warheads.

Meanwhile, all nine countries with nukes are modernizing their other warheads and delivery systems. In a test just last week, France successfully fired, from a submarine, a nuclear missile that can travel between continents at 20 times the speed of sound. Other countries, most notably China, are adding to their nuclear stashes as fast as they can.

Even more worryingly, states are reviewing their strategies for using these weapons. Gone is the amoral but logical stability of the Cold War, when two superpowers kept each other and the world in check with a credible threat of “Mutual Assured Destruction” (MAD).

Russia, for instance, increasingly sees smaller “tactical” warheads as a possible way to compensate for weaknesses in its other military forces. It’s conceivable that a conflict starting with hybrid warfare — ranging from disinformation campaigns to soldiers in unmarked uniforms — could escalate to a conventional war and a limited nuclear strike, inviting a counter strike and so forth.

There’s also speculation that India could soften its policy, adopted in 1998, never to be the first to use a nuclear weapon. Such thought experiments are no small matter for a country with two hostile and nuclear-armed neighbors, Pakistan and China. Just this week, India and China clashed again over their disputed border in the Himalayas. What North Korea could get up to in a crisis that it itself provokes is anybody’s guess.        

Meanwhile, all efforts to limit or reduce nuclear weapons have ground to a halt. A treaty between the U.S. and the Soviet Union that eliminated land-based missiles with short and intermediate ranges collapsed last year, after the U.S. accused Russia of cheating.

And the two old foes aren’t even close to extending their only remaining arms-control agreement, called New START, which expires in February. One reason for that failure was America’s insistence that the third and rising superpower should join the negotiations. But China, which sees itself as merely catching up with the two nuclear kingpins, balks at accepting any limits.

Progress has also stalled in updating the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, exactly 50 years after it took effect. It sought to keep additional countries from making bombs by encouraging them to use fissile material (uranium or plutonium) only for civilian purposes such as generating electricity. But five countries have gone nuclear since it was signed. Worse, game theory suggests that it’s rational for more states to follow. Iran could be next.

The only international agreement to ban these evil weapons altogether, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons passed by the United Nations in 2017, has the same chance as a snowball in a fission event. No member of the nuclear club intends to ratify it, nor do many other countries.

As if all that weren’t bad enough, doubt is also creeping into the transatlantic alliance, undermining its credibility and thus the deterrence that’s so vital to preventing war. Germans, in particular, are aghast at their treatment by U.S. President Donald Trump, who this week chastised them as “delinquent” allies and confirmed that he will withdraw about one in four American troops from Germany.

In May, several leaders of Germany’s Social Democrats, a party with a tradition of anti-Americanism, even suggested opting out of NATO’s policy of “nuclear sharing,” whereby some allies, such as Germany, forego building their own nukes but provide the airplanes to deliver U.S. bombs in a pinch. This policy is meant to make joint deterrence more credible. But to German lefties, distrust of Trump is enough reason to challenge its logic. Fortunately, Chancellor Angela Merkel quickly overruled them.

Between naivety in Germany, belligerence in Russia, ambition in China, inanity in Trumpist America and brinkmanship in North Korea, the outlook is grim. Egomaniacs or rogues could be tempted to test the boundaries in their foes’ deterrence plans, and human error could compound the folly.

What’s more, the climate in international relations isn’t exactly conducive to solutions. The world leaders who matter most are so busy with “trade wars” and “vaccine nationalism,” they can barely even imagine sitting around a table with people they loathe but should talk to, an activity known formerly as diplomacy.

But they must rise above themselves. If they can’t, the rest of us, from voters to the military brass, should force them. Only patient multilateralism, as unsexy as that polysyllabic Latin word may sound to alpha males, can save us in the long run. Otherwise, to use a Cold War metaphor, the nations of the world will find themselves standing in a room awash with gasoline, each counting who has how many matches, until one is lit.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Andreas Kluth is a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion. He was previously editor in chief of Handelsblatt Global and a writer for the Economist. He’s the author of “Hannibal and Me.”

For more articles like this, please visit us at

Yes … It is the Fourth Seal (Revelation 6:7)

Volcanic eruptions are just one of the big disasters that may be lurking.

Getty Images

There’s a one-in-three chance of a ‘massive’ disaster that could be worse than COVID-19, says Deutsche Bank

Steve Goldstein

Published: June 17, 2020 at 8:44 a.m. ET

After Tuesday’s rally on better-than-expected retail sales figures and an encouraging study of a drug to treat coronavirus patients, the S&P 500 SPX, -0.56% has rallied 40% from its closing low and is down just 8% from its February peak.

Clearly, disasters aren’t necessarily devastating to financial markets. That’s worth bearing in mind when considering a new report from Deutsche Bank that looked at the next massive tail risk for markets.

Analysts, led by Henry Allen, say there is at least a one-in-three chance that at least one of four major tail risks will occur within the next decade: a major influenza pandemic killing more than two million people; a globally catastrophic volcanic eruption; a major solar flare; or a global war. (The current COVID-19 pandemic has killed 443,765 globally already.)

If the time frame is two decades, then there is a 56% chance of one of these disasters occurring, the analysts say, based on various studies and risk assessments. Earthquakes were omitted from the numbers on the grounds that they are more local events.

The solar flare possibility is one rarely discussed, perhaps because the last severe one was in 1859, but the Deutsche Bank team finds that to be more likely than a major global war.

“There could be major power outages as electrical power grids are disrupted, which in turn would have knock-on effects throughout the economy as critical infrastructure is unable to be run properly. Lives could be lost if it impacted hospitals and medical care. Communications would be disrupted, many payment systems would be dysfunctional, and GPS [Global Positioning System] satellites would face extensive interference, to the detriment of all the individuals and industries that rely on accurate location services, not least aircraft,” says the cheery report.

Citing one study that assessed the odds of a major solar flare happening are 12% in a decade, that means there is a 40% chance it will take place in the next 40 years. Might want to keep a few spare batteries around.

Another point made is that these major events tend to have ripple effects as well, just as the current COVID-19 crisis has led to fraying ties between the U.S. and China.

The analysts didn’t suggest an investment strategy around their findings. Judging by the current environment, perhaps buying stocks would be the best response.

The buzz

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell faces lawmakers on the House Financial Services Committee, a day after encountering senators and colorfully stating the central bank wasn’t like an elephant running through the corporate bond market.

Summing up the comments made by Powell, as well as Vice Chair Richard Clarida and Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan, “all three indicated that the economy will probably show strong numbers for a couple of months as it reopens. The worry is that when activity flattens out, the economy will still be far from full employment,” according to Steven Englander, head of North America macro strategy at Standard Chartered.

Beijing canceled more than 60% of commercial flights and raised the alert level amid a new coronavirus outbreak. Vice President Mike Pence said in an opinion piece that there isn’t a coronavirus second wave.

HSBC Holdings HSBC, +1.51% said it is going to resume plans to cut 35,000 jobs that it had temporarily shelved.

Facebook FB, +1.20% said it would let users block political ads on its social media platform. The Justice Department is set to announce a legislative proposal that would limit some of the legal protections for Facebook and Twitter TWTR, -1.82% , according to The Wall Street Journal.

Norwegian Cruise Line NCLH, -5.64% late on Tuesday extended voyage cancellations through October, news that weighed on rival cruise operators, including Carnival CCL, -5.26% and Royal Caribbean Cruises RCL, -6.87%, in premarket trade.

U.S. housing starts rose a smaller-than-forecast 4.3% in May, while permits spiked 14.3%.

The markets

U.S. stock futures ES00, -0.05% YM00, -0.06% pointed higher.

Crude-oil futures CL.1, -0.80% slipped, as did gold GC00, +0.18%.

The dollar rose against the euro EURUSD, -0.00% and the pound GBPUSD, -0.01%.

The chart

BP’s annual statistical review of energy has fascinating nuggets, even if the numbers represent the world before the pandemic ravaged the global economy. Energy consumption per person is still overwhelmingly larger in the U.S. than anywhere else, even though it has been falling for the last two decades. Last year, average global energy consumption inched up 0.2% on Middle Eastern and Asian-Pacific demand, BP said.

Russia Does NOT Think It Can Win a Nuclear War

Does Russia Think It Can Win a Nuclear War?

Russia has published an official executive order (ukaz) titled ‘Basic principles of state policy of the Russian Federation on nuclear deterrence’.

It entered into force on 2 June when it was signed by President Vladimir Putin. This is the first time in the almost 30-year history of the Russian Federation that an explanation of Russia’s nuclear warfighting policy has been made public.

The relatively short, six-page document sets out a series of blunt messages designed to impress on its potential enemies just where Russia stands. While it considers nuclear weapons ‘exclusively as a means of deterrence’ and characterises their use as ‘an extreme and compelled measure’, this official declaration sets out in some detail the conditions that could trigger nuclear conflict.

The clear messages are ‘the inevitability of retaliation’ in the event of nuclear attack on Russia and that Russia intends to maintain forces capable of inflicting ‘guaranteed unacceptable damage’ on a potential adversary. Precisely what such unacceptable damage might involve is not spelled out, but in the Cold War it implied that the enemy would cease to exist as a modern functioning society.

The main military risks that might evolve into direct military threats to Russia are identified as:

• build-up by a potential adversary of conventional forces that possess nuclear weapons in the territories of states contiguous with Russia and its allies, as well as in adjacent waters

• deployment, by states that consider Russia as a potential adversary, of missile defence systems, medium- and short-range cruise and ballistic missiles, non-nuclear high-precision and hypersonic weapons, strike unmanned aerial vehicles, and directed-energy weapons

• development and deployment of missile defence assets and strike systems in outer space

• possession by states of nuclear weapons or other types of weapons of mass destruction that can be used against Russia and its allies, as well as means of delivery of such weapons

• uncontrolled proliferation of nuclear weapons, their delivery means, and technology and equipment for their manufacture

• deployment of nuclear weapons and their delivery means in the territories of non-nuclear-weapon states.

Most importantly, this document sets out publicly for the first time the situations in which Russia would contemplate using nuclear weapons as follows:

• arrival of reliable data on a launch of ballistic missiles attacking the territory of Russia and/or its allies (i.e. a launch on warning)

• use of nuclear weapons or other types of weapons of mass destruction by an adversary against Russia and/or its allies

• attack by an adversary against critical government or military sites of Russia, disruption of which would undermine nuclear force response actions (i.e. a so-called decapitation strike against the political and military leadership)

• aggression against Russia with the use of conventional weapons when the very existence of the state is in jeopardy.

The executive order also notes that the decision to use nuclear weapons is taken by the president of Russia, who might, if necessary, inform the leadership of other states and international organisations about Russia’s readiness to use nuclear weapons or about the decision taken to use nuclear weapons, as well as about the fact that nuclear weapons have been used.

This Russian statement presents welcome areas of clarification. But some of them are distinctly worrying: especially the clause that confirms Russia’s declaratory nuclear doctrine is one of launch on warning. This has always been recognised as a very risky concept because it is crucially dependent upon early warning systems not malfunctioning, which might not be a dependable basis on which to go to nuclear war.

Nuclear attack indicators are likely to face even shorter warning times in the future with the deployment of hypersonic manoeuvrable glide vehicles, as well as such devices as directed-energy weapons. Strategic warning is already being complicated by the deployment by the US of prompt global strike ballistic missiles with conventional warheads, which makes the task of differentiating between conventional and nuclear armed intercontinental ballistic missiles in a crisis practically impossible.

The other issue of concern surrounds Russia’s declaratory policy that it will consider using nuclear weapons against a conventional attack ‘when the very existence of the state is in jeopardy’. This is the so-called escalate to de-escalate element of Russian nuclear strategy involving the threatened use of tactical nuclear weapons against an overwhelming NATO conventional attack. This, of course, is the mirror image of NATO’s own Cold War nuclear policy of deterring an overwhelming Russian conventional attack on Europe. An interesting question here is what constitutes Russian territory, given Putin’s attitudes to what he terms ‘the near abroad’—the territories of former Soviet republics, such as the Baltic countries, where there are large numbers of Russian citizens.

It is probably not a coincidence that the release by Moscow of this unprecedented public document about Russia’s nuclear deterrence policy and its war-fighting implications comes at a time of the complete breakdown in talks between the US and Russia about nuclear arms control and verification. Both sides have stopped talking to each other about this central issue to global nuclear security. By comparison, in the Cold War, crucial nuclear arms control treaties were signed and resulted in agreed verification and inspection measures that were quite intrusive.

Now, such important arms control treaties as the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty, and the Treaty on Open Skies have all been terminated by the US, in 2011, 2019 and 2020, respectively. In addition, New START, the treaty between the US and Russia that limits each side to 1,500 deployed nuclear warheads (although both have total deployed and non-deployed nuclear warheads in excess of 6,000 each), is due for extension early next year.

Washington is insisting that China be included in any such strategic nuclear treaty, but China has resolutely refused. The bets are that New START also will be terminated, especially if President Donald Trump is re-elected. That would herald the way to a full-blown strategic nuclear arms race.

This article by Paul Dibb first appeared in The Strategist on June 19, 2020.

Image: Reuters.

European Nuclear Horns Put Pressure on Iran (Daniel)

Germany, France, UK press Iran to provide atomic site access

DAVID RISING , Associated Press

BERLIN — The board of the United Nations’ atomic watchdog agency on Friday adopted a resolution calling for Iran to provide inspectors access to sites where the country is thought to have stored or used undeclared nuclear material, the Russian representative said.

Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s ambassador to international organizations in Vienna, tweeted that his country and China had voted against the resolution that Germany, France and Britain proposed at a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency board.

“We believe that the resolution can be counterproductive,” Ulyanov said, while also “stressing the need for Tehran and IAEA to settle this problem without delay.”

Earlier this week, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi reiterated concerns that for more than four months Iran had denied his inspectors access to two locations ” to clarify our questions related to possible undeclared nuclear material and nuclear-related activities.”

Activities at the sites are thought to have been from the early 2000s, before Iran signed the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. Iran maintains the International Atomic Energy Agency has no legal basis to inspect them.

The agency has said that Iran continues to provide access to sites covered by the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA.

Iran’s representative to the IAEA, Kazem Gharibabadi, said his country rejected the resolution.

“We do not consider this resolution acceptable at all,” he said. “This resolution cannot create any legal obligation for the Islamic Republic of Iran in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency to grant the two accesses.”

Since the United States withdrew unilaterally from the deal in 2018, the other signatories — Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China — have been struggling to save it.

Meanwhile, Iran has been violating its restrictions, including the amount of uranium it can enrich and the purity of enrichment, to try to pressure those countries to provide additional economic relief to offset American sanctions.

It is not clear what effect the new resolution will have on the JCPOA, but Iran threatened unspecified consequences.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will take appropriate action and respond to this resolution,” Gharibabadi said.

Iran’s foreign ministry described the resolution as an “unconstructive, irresponsible and unacceptable action,” the state-run IRNA news agency reported. Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi accused Britain, France and Germany of creating tension between Iran and the IAEA and trying to avoid “their responsibilities based on the nuclear deal.”

In a tweet, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif urged the three nations to “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.”

China’s ambassador to international organizations, Wang Qun, told board members he was “deeply concerned” about both Grossi’s decision to openly express concerns about being denied access and the resolution that was passed.

He said, according to a copy of his statement provided to The Associated Press, that it could “set forth a process, under the current circumstances, that may bring the Iranian nuclear issue back to a crossroad full of uncertainties again.”

The foreign ministers of Germany, France and Britain discussed Iran at a meeting in Berlin later Friday and issued a statement noting that the resolution passed with a “very strong majority.”

The American representative, Jackie Wolcott, said the U.S. had supported the resolution and that the ball was now in Iran’s court.

“The fact of the matter is this is entirely Iran’s decision,” she said in a conference call with reporters. “They could fix this overnight if they would just decide to comply with their obligations with the IAEA.”

Germany, France and Britain in January invoked a dispute resolution mechanism designed to resolve issues with the 2015 deal or refer them to the U.N. Security Council. On Friday, their foreign ministers said that “we will seek a ministerial meeting to urge Iran to cooperate and to take stock of where we stand” in that process.

If no resolution is found, the process could result in the resumption of U.N. and European Union sanctions on Iran. But the ministers warned against trying to force the reimposition of sanctions.

“We firmly believe that any unilateral attempt to trigger U.N. sanctions snapback would have serious adverse consequences” in the U.N. Security Council, they said. “We would not support such a decision which would be incompatible with our current efforts to preserve the JCPOA.”