Zarif Explains Timing of Terminating Sanctions

Zarif Explains Timing of Terminating SanctionsZarif Explains Timing of Terminating Sanctions

In an interview with the state television late on Saturday, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif clarified the mechanism of lifting sanctions under a prospective nuclear deal with the major powers.

"There are three categories of sanctions, namely the UN Security Council's sanctions, the US sanctions, and the European Union's sanctions, and based on the joint statement read out by (EU foreign policy chief Federica) Mogherini, all resolutions of the Security Council will (effectively) be nullified the day the agreement is reached," the chief nuclear negotiator said, IRNA reported.

The joint statement outlining the key parameters of a final nuclear deal, which came on Thursday after eight days of intensive talks between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) in the Swiss city of Lausanne, said, "The EU will terminate the implementation of all nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions and the US will cease the application of all nuclear-related secondary economic and financial sanctions, simultaneously with the IAEA-verified implementation by Iran of its key nuclear commitments."

The statement also said, "A new United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution will endorse the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – the official name of the final nuclear pact), terminate all previous nuclear-related resolutions and incorporate certain restrictive measures for a mutually agreed period of time."

Zarif said the six previous UNSC's resolutions related to Iran's nuclear activities will be revoked, adding, "The day that the Security Council's resolution about the final agreement between Iran and the P5+1 is approved, the two sides should take some measures."

He said the day that the resolution will be approved and the day that it will come into force will not be the same, explaining, "The time difference between the approval and the implementation of the provisions of the agreement has not been specified and agreed yet, because we do not know how long it will take the two sides to take their steps."

“We should take some steps in Arak (heavy water reactor), Fordo (nuclear site), and Natanz (uranium enrichment facility) and other places which have been approved by the top-level officials of the establishment. These measures are time-consuming and cannot be implemented overnight.”

  Guarantee for Deal Enforcement   

In addition, he said the day that the parties to the talks complete their measures under the final deal, the US has to remove sanctions.  

“Our guarantee is the Security Council’s resolution. All members of the council should approve the final deal in a session and terminate all previous resolutions; the resolution will set out a timetable for the two sides, and in fact the sanctions will be terminated the day that the International Atomic Energy Agency confirms that the Islamic Republic of Iran has met its commitments, and since that day the United States will have to cease all unilateral financial, economic and oil sanctions.”

On the EU sanctions, Zarif said, “After the Council of Ministers of the European Union’s approval, all sanctions against Iran will be terminated.”

Elsewhere, the foreign minister pointed to the uranium enrichment program and said Iran needs an enrichment capacity of 190,000 SWUs (separative work units) when it wants to supply the Bushehr nuclear power plant with domestically produced fuel, noting that Iran first needs to obtain international licenses to be able to manufacture nuclear fuel pellets and rods.  

He also said restrictions on the enrichment program will remain in place for ten years and after that the program will be restored to a normal status and even Iran will manufacture advanced IR-8 centrifuge machines.  He added that the number of centrifuges at Fordo will be 1,044, but they will not be used to enrich uranium.

“Fordo will ensure the security of Natanz, If the other side violates the agreement, in less than two months, we can return to the previous status.”