MP Downbeat on Sanctions Removal Working Group

MP Downbeat on Sanctions Removal Working Group MP Downbeat on Sanctions Removal Working Group

A lawmaker expressed pessimism about the ability of a recently assigned working group to remove obstacles placed by the remaining US restrictions in the way of sanctions relief.

Iran accepted temporary constraints on its nuclear program under the July 2015 nuclear deal with P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) to emerge from years of sanctions after it took effect in mid-January.

Iran has complained that the remaining US sanctions have deprived it of full economic benefits of the deal. The current US policy that bans international banks from clearing dollar-denominated transactions with Iran through the US financial system has caused foreign firms to shy away from business ventures in the lucrative Iranian market.

Consistent with the accord, formally titled Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, representatives from all the parties established the Joint Commission to monitor it and handle issues arising from its implementation. In its first meeting after the implementation day on Friday, the commission agreed to form a working group tasked with addressing all obstacles to the removal of sanctions.

"Given the current developments in the implementation of the action plan and comments by western officials, we should not pin hopes on the special working group and [its] meetings on the lifting of sanctions," Vahid Ahmadi said in an interview with ICANA on Sunday.

"Nevertheless, Iran should keep pushing in such meetings to compel P5+1 to honor their commitments, although we know the United States does not intend to implement the JCPOA thoroughly and properly."

Referring to different approaches toward the JCPOA among P5+1, Ahmadi said, "Some European countries want to see the JCPOA thoroughly implemented and are unhappy with the current situation, particularly about the banking issue," citing the grievances expressed by EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, in her recent trip to Tehran.

The US, on the other hand, is trying to "derail the deal" with the support of France and Britain, he added.