JCPOA Working Group to Address Remaining Sanctions

JCPOA Working Group to Address Remaining SanctionsJCPOA Working Group to Address Remaining Sanctions

The parties to last year's nuclear deal have agreed to set up a working group tasked with addressing all obstacles to the removal of sanctions, a nuclear negotiator said.

"It was agreed that the Joint Commission would assign a separate group to address Iran's concerns wherever it feels that sanctions have not been lifted or there is little progress," Abbas Araqchi told reporters after the Vienna meeting of the Joint Commission on Friday.

Iran emerged from years of sanctions after the July 2015 nuclear deal with P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) took effect on January 16.

It accepted time-bound curbs on its nuclear program in return.

The Joint Commission, which represents all the parties, was established under the accord to monitor it and address issues arising from its implementation. The commission's deputy-level talks were the first after the implementation day and were co-chaired by Araqchi and EU political director, Helga Schmid.

Araqchi, who also heads the Foreign Ministry's office for the implementation of the pact, said the working group will come up with its own solutions to the sanctions-related issues, but if necessary, they will also be considered by the Joint Commission," IRNA reported.

"The European and American sides reaffirmed their commitments to the agreement in the meeting," he said.

"They described the steps they have taken so far regarding the lifting of sanctions. They presented explanations about the existing problems, which they viewed as being mainly related to the technical aspects."

Araqchi noted that it was a productive and constructive meeting.

"There were useful discussions, particularly about issues related to sanctions," he said.

Iran has complained that the remaining US sanctions are preventing it from enjoying the full fruits of the deal.

The current US policy that bars international banks from clearing dollar-based transactions with Iran through the US financial system has made foreign firms wary of doing business with Iranian counterparts.

In a message on her Twitter account, Schmid also described the meeting as "productive".

"E3/EU+3 [another name for the six major powers] reviewed Iran's nuclear commitments and agreed to continue work together to reassure economic operators about sanctions lifting."