Commission Underscores US Pledge to Uphold JCPOA
The United States has reassured a panel of parties to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal tasked with monitoring it that the renewal of an anti-Iran sanctions law would not undermine the accord's implementation.
Representatives from Iran and major powers that negotiated the historic agreement came together on Tuesday in a meeting of the panel, known as the Joint Commission, to address Iran's grievances over the extension of Iran Sanctions Act.
The US bill to renew the ISA, first adopted in 1996 to target Iran's energy sector, won unanimous congressional approval and became law last month without a presidential signature.
The meeting, held in Vienna, Austria, at the request of Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, was co-chaired by his deputy for legal and international affairs, Abbas Araqchi, and EU political director, Helga Schmid.
"The Joint Commission underscored the sanctions lifting commitments contained in the JCPOA, in particular as they relate to the ISA, and recognized the United States' assurance that extension of the ISA does not affect in any way the sanctions lifting Iran receives under the deal or the ability of companies to do business in Iran consistent with the JCPOA," said a press release published by the European External Action Service website.
JCPOA stands for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the official title of the landmark agreement in place for one year now to curb Tehran's nuclear program in return for the sanctions relief.
"The Joint Commission also reiterated the commitments by the participants to the continued lifting of sanctions ... The Joint Commission meeting also offered an opportunity to review the implementation of the JCPOA as far as nuclear-related issues are concerned," the press release said.
After the panel's session, Araqchi said Iran was convinced by US assurances not to trigger a mechanism envisaged in the action Iran to address complaints by any party.
"Iran explained its concern on the extension of the Iran Sanctions Act ... as being a reintroduction of sanctions. I think the joint commission took Iran's concern very seriously," he told reporters.
Delegations from the US and Iran, the main parties to the ISA dispute, had discussed the issue at the level of experts on Monday, following a meeting at the same level between all seven parties to the agreement.
In response to the US sanctions move, President Hassan Rouhani has 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.
Rouhani 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.
A committee on the action plan under the Supreme National Security Council that comprises top Iranian officials convened on December 7 to decide how to respond to the US legislation.