JCPOA Panel Focuses on US Antagonism

Deputy FM Abbas Araqchi and EU political director, Helga Schmid Deputy FM Abbas Araqchi and EU political director, Helga Schmid

A panel that monitors the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and major powers convened its eighth meeting in Vienna on Friday to address Iran's complaint about the US antagonistic stance toward the pact.

Under the historic accord, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, international sanctions on Tehran were eased in return for time-bound constraints on its nuclear program.

The commission is made up of representatives from Iran and other parties to JCPOA, namely the US, Britain, France, China and Russia plus Germany, and is responsible for monitoring the nuclear accord and handling any dispute arising from its implementation. Nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi, who headed the Iranian delegation in the talks, sat down with Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency Yukiya Amano a day earlier to discuss the latest developments on the deal and cooperation between Tehran and the Vienna-based agency, which is tasked with overseeing and verifying Iran's compliance with the action plan, ISNA reported.

US Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon led the US team in the panel's Friday session. The report also said on Wednesday that the US delegation had called for a bilateral meeting with its Iranian counterpart on the margins of the commission's meeting. Araqchi had earlier ruled out direct talks with the American side unless the need arises only to discuss JCPOA. US President Donald Trump has railed against the JCPOA and has demanded a "full review".

Despite the sanctions relief, Iran remains on the US State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism for its support of anti-Israel groups and is still subject to non-nuclear sanctions, including for alleged human rights abuses and for its backing of Syrian President Bashar Assad's government. Since entering office in January, Trump has used these allegations to impose several rounds of new sanctions on Iran, with the latest being announced as recently as Tuesday.


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