JCPOA Panel to Convene in New York

Iran believes that the US has failed to adhere to its commitments under the nuclear deal
Ali Akbar VelayatiAli Akbar Velayati

The Joint Commission of last year's nuclear deal will convene in New York on the sidelines of an annual meeting of the UN General Assembly later this month to follow up on discussions about how to address obstacles to the accord's implementation.

The annual UN event will be held from September 20-26.

"The Foreign Ministry has taken measures [to help facilitate] the implementation of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action," a senior advisor to the Leader of Islamic Revolution said, using the formal name of the pact.

"These measures will be pursued during the trip of the Islamic Republic of Iran's delegation to New York to attend this year's session of the UN General Assembly," Ali Akbar Velayati was quoted as saying by IRNA on Sunday.

He was speaking to reporters after a meeting with India's Minister of State for External Affairs Mubashir Javed Akbar in Tehran.

Iran and P5+1 (the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China plus Germany) reached the agreement in July 2015 after two years of negotiations aimed at settling a 12-year dispute over Tehran's nuclear program.

It has been about eight months since JCPOA took effect to place temporary curbs on Tehran's nuclear work in return for relief from crippling international sanctions and a clear path to rejoin global markets.

But Tehran is struggling to access financing from abroad, as most major foreign banks are holding back for fear of unwittingly violating vague, residual American sanctions that prohibit trade with Iran in dollars, through the US financial system.

Iran 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 Joint Commission, a panel of representatives from all the JCPOA participants tasked under the action plan to monitor it and address issues arising from its implementation, has already met four times.

  Failure to Deliver

"What the Americans and P5+1 are expected to do will certainly be raised in the commission's meeting. The foreign minister [Mohammad Javad Zarif] and his colleagues believe that the Americans have failed to adhere to their commitments and that is why they have taken action," Velayati said.

The slow growth in foreign trade has inflamed anti-western sentiments in the Islamic Republic. Last month, Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei criticized the US approach toward the deal, saying it testifies to its untrustworthy nature and substantiates the pointlessness of holding negotiations with the Americans and the need to stick to a distrustful view of US promises.

Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani has urged the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran to begin to consider ramping up nuclear enrichment. Velayati noted that Iran's grievances on the action plan are not directed at all the six international parties and it recognizes the difference in their performances.

"The behavior of Russians and the Chinese is definitely different from that of other countries. France is also to some extent different," he said.

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 has done little to address the issue, 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.