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JCPOA Commission Convenes in Vienna
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JCPOA Commission Convenes in Vienna

The first meeting of the Joint Commission on the July 14 Iran nuclear deal was held in Vienna on Monday to advance preparations for implementing the international accord, IRNA reported.

The commission, which is comprised of representatives from all parties to the pact, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, is tasked with monitoring the deal and addressing issues arising from its implementation.

The JCPOA, struck between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany) will give Tehran sanctions relief in exchange for time-bound constraints on its nuclear program.
 
Deputy foreign ministers Abbas Araqchi and Majid Takht-Ravanchi represented Iran in the meeting, which came a day after a 90-day milestone since a resolution by the UN Security Council endorsed the action plan.

"Today the first meeting of the Joint Commission between experts, deputy foreign ministers and political directors of Iran and the P5+1 will convene," Araqchi, who is also the head of the Foreign Ministry's committee for implementation of the JCPOA, said before the meeting.

***Primary Aim

"It is primarily aimed at formally announcing the establishment of the Joint Commission," he told reporters in the Austrian capital.

Sunday marked what is known under the JCPOA as Adoption Day, when the US, the EU and Iran were required to announce a series of measures to comply with the pact.

The EU announced the adoption of the legislative framework for lifting all of its nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions on Iran.

The United States also announced that it began taking action to cease application of nuclear-related statutory sanctions, including measures to terminate executive orders and to license activities, as specified in the pact.

However, EU and US measures will not become effective until Implementation Day when the IAEA has verified implementation of agreed nuclear measures by Iran.

Steps Tehran has to take to meet the requirements of the accord include reducing the number of uranium-enrichment centrifuges it has in operation, cutting its enriched uranium stockpile from approximately 12,000 kilograms to 300 kilograms, removing the core of the Arak heavy-water reactor and answering UN questions about past nuclear activities the West suspects may have been intended to develop the means to build an atomic bomb.

Iran denies there is a military element to its nuclear program, saying it is solely for peaceful purposes.

Following the announcements, a joint statement was released by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini.

***Statements by Obama, Kerry

US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry welcomed Adoption Day in separate statements.

"I welcome this important step forward, and we, together with our partners, must now focus on the critical work of fully implementing this comprehensive resolution," Obama said in a statement carried by the White House website.

"I have directed that the heads of all relevant executive departments and agencies of the United States begin preparations to implement the US commitments in the JCPOA, in accordance with US law, including providing relief from nuclear-related sanctions as detailed in the text of the JCPOA once the International Atomic Energy Agency has verified that Iran has completed all of its nuclear steps."

Kerry said in a statement, posted on the website of the US Department of State, "As we move from Adoption Day now towards Implementation Day, I and my entire team will remain vigilant and mindful of not just how far we have come, but how much further we have to go in seeing that this deal is fully implemented."  

 

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