JCPOA Panel to Meet on ISA in Weeks
An international commission that monitors the implementation of the 2015 nuclear deal will convene early next month to address Iran's complaint over the extension of a US sanctions law for another 10 years, a lawmaker said.
A bill passed almost unanimously by the US Congress earlier this month renewed the Iran Sanctions Act, first adopted in 1996 to target Iran's energy sector.
Top Iranian officials have railed against the move, denouncing it as a violation of the accord, which has been in effect since January to lift international sanctions in return for curtailing Tehran's nuclear program. They have threatened to retaliate.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said last week that Iran will air its grievances in the next meeting of the Joint Commission, a panel of representatives from all parties to the nuclear deal assigned to monitor and address issues arising from its implementation.
Zarif and his deputies attended a session of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission on Monday to give an update on the latest developments related to the implementation of the pact.
"The JCPOA's Joint Commission will convene on January 10," the spokesman of the parliamentary commission, Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, cited Zarif as informing the session, IRNA reported.
Iran's nuclear deal is officially known as JCPOA, which stands for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi said the meeting will be held at the level of deputy foreign ministers.
Based on the dispute resolution mechanism envisaged in the deal, Iran can take its grievances to the Joint Commission and if the issue is still unresolved, to foreign ministers of the parties to the accord and finally to an advisory board, which would consist of three members, one independent and the other two appointed by each of the participants in the dispute.
If the issue is still not resolved and Iran deems it to constitute a breach of the nuclear deal, it could treat it as grounds to cease performing its commitments in whole or in part and/or notify the UN Security Council that it believes the issue constitutes a significant non-performance.
In response to the US sanctions move, President Hassan Rouhani ordered the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran to start developing systems for setting up a nuclear-powered marine system and the fuel to power it.
He has tasked Zarif with using the deal's mechanism to counter any breach committed by the other side to the accord and report to him monthly.
Zarif, in a talk with IRNA on Tuesday, described the hearing session as "very good" and said preparations are underway to implement the presidential directive.
"The atomic energy organization and the Foreign Ministry have begun taking measures and at later stages, we will act on the decisions of the committee [affiliated to the Supreme National Security Council] that monitors the [deal's] implementation," he said.
The committee, which comprises top Iranian officials, convened on December 7 to decide how to respond to the US legislation.