Talks in NY to Push JCPOA Implementation

Talks in NY to Push JCPOA ImplementationTalks in NY to Push JCPOA Implementation

Top diplomats from Iran and major powers that negotiated last year’s nuclear agreement are to convene today in New York for facilitating the pact’s implementation.

The meeting, to be held on the sidelines of the annual session of the UN General Assembly, is the first at the ministerial level after the accord was implemented on January 16 to grant Tehran sanctions relief in return for placing curbs on its nuclear program.

“As stipulated in the JCPOA, the ministerial meeting will convene every two years or on an ad hoc basis upon the request of a state party,” nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi said in an interview with IRNA.

He was using an acronym that stands for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the formal title of the deal.

It emerged from two years of negotiations between Iran and the six world powers, namely the US, Britain, France, China and Russia plus Germany.

Their political directors and deputy foreign ministers attended a meeting of the Joint Commission on Wednesday.

The commission is a panel of representatives from all parties to the action plan, tasked with monitoring it and addressing issues that arise from its implementation.

It was the fifth time the panel convenes after the JCPOA took effect in mid-January to follow up on discussions about how to address obstacles to its implementation.

“Considering the complexity and extent of issues surrounding the sanctions [removal], they demand extremely detailed discussions, particularly when it comes to banking issues,” Araqchi said.

It has been more than eight months since JCPOA took effect, 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 slow growth in foreign trade has inflamed anti-western sentiments in the Islamic Republic. 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 that there is still little clarity on what trade could be done.