Iran Mulling Response to US Anti-JCPOA Moves

Meetings will be convened to remind JCPOA participants of the obstacles created by the Americans in the way of implementing the nuclear deal
Ali Akbar VelayatiAli Akbar Velayati

Iran is weighing how to respond to US attempts to interfere with the full implementation of the 2015 nuclear deal, said a senior member of a committee that oversees the other side's compliance with the accord.

The committee has been assigned by the Supreme National Security Council.

"Obviously, without pressure, the Americans will not agree to do what they have committed to," Ali Akbar Velayati, an advisor to the Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, told Fars News Agency on Thursday.

"A meeting or meetings will be convened, led [on Iran's side] by the head of the Foreign Ministry's office for monitoring the JCPOA implementation, Abbas Araqchi, to remind other parties of the obstacles created by the Americans."

Velayati was referring to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the formal title of the pact.

Under the action plan, Iran agreed to temporary curbs on its nuclear program in return for relief from international sanctions and a clear path to rejoin global markets.

Tehran is struggling to access financing from abroad while most major foreign banks fear unwittingly violating vague, residual American sanctions, which prohibit trade with Iran in dollars, through the US financial system.

It has pressured the United States to do more to remove obstacles to the banking sector and has sought European leverage to secure better terms from the US.

The slow growth in foreign trade has inflamed anti-western sentiments in the Islamic Republic.

  Little Clarity

Iranian business leaders believe the United States has failed to spell out exactly what is permitted and what is not, maintaining uncertainty and putting off international banks from processing Iran-linked transactions.

The US administration denies it wants to keep the issue murky, claiming it has gone to great lengths to clear up misunderstandings among banks and businesses. However, bankers and investors argue there is still little clarity on what trade could be done.

Iran's push through diplomatic channels to have its grievances heard led to a joint statement issued by the United States, Britain, France and Germany in May to reassure cautious foreign investors.

The statement also urged Tehran to make itself more attractive to investors.

Experts partly blame Iran's complex regulations, a lack of transparency in its banking system, unclear dispute resolution mechanisms and labor issues for the behavior of foreign businesses.

Tehran later complained that the statement has yet to be backed by practical steps.