Gov’t JCPOA Report Indicates Progress in Restoring Trade Ties

Alireza RahimiAlireza Rahimi

A lawmaker hailed the positive developments on the back of the 2015 nuclear deal, which are outlined in the government's quarterly report on the implementation of the landmark agreement recently submitted to parliament.

"The Foreign Ministry's fourth-quarter report on JCPOA reflects numerous positive and forward measures," Alireza Rahimi said in a talk with ICANA on Saturday, using the official name of the accord, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

It was negotiated between Iran and P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) and went into full force a year ago to scale down Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

Rahimi said the report reviewed the deal's achievements in relation to nuclear activities and the removal of international sanctions.

Iran's access to expected dividends from the action plan has been fraught with obstacles, most of which have been created by hawkish US Republican lawmakers who oppose the deal under the strong influence of the Israeli lobby.

Residual, vague US restrictions are also partly to blame as they deter overseas firms and banks from the Iranian market by threatening to levy hefty fines on those using the US financial system, even though unwittingly, to clear dollar-denominated Iran-linked transactions.

Rahimi highlighted the progress made on restoring trade and banking relations, citing the recent delivery of the first Airbus aircraft under a high-profile deal with the aviation giant that involves dozens more of the passenger jets.

Iran, which had not directly purchased a western-built plane in nearly 40 years, has ordered 100 airliners from Airbus and 80 from Boeing and is close to a deal to buy 20 turboprop aircraft from Toulouse-based ATR.

Analysts say Iran flies one of the world's oldest fleets, with an average age of 23 years, and has had to rely on smuggled or improvised parts to keep them operational.

The aircraft deals with the three manufacturers, which have been approved by the US Treasury, have survived several congressional attempts to block them.

In one of its latest anti-Iran moves, the US Congress passed a bill to extend for a decade a sanctions law, formally known as the Iran Sanctions Act.

It became law last month without President Barack Obama's signature.

The US move enraged Iranian officials and prompted a call by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for an emergency meeting of the Joint Commission.

The panel comprises representatives from all the seven parties to the pact tasked with monitoring it and addressing issues that arise from its implementation.

Rahimi said the government has acted on the decision of a top-level committee assigned by the Supreme National Security Council to oversee the action plan.

The Joint Commission convened in Vienna, Austria, on Jan. 10 and reaffirmed their commitment to JCPOA. 


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