EU Urges JCPOA Parties to Act in Good Faith

EU says all JCPOA participants confirmed their continued adherence to commitments under the deal and stressed the need to ensure its full and effective implementation in a constructive atmosphere
EU monitors the implementation of Iran nuclear deal and coordinates meetings among the parties to the pact. EU monitors the implementation of Iran nuclear deal and coordinates meetings among the parties to the pact.

Officials from the parties to the 2015 nuclear accord convened in Vienna on Friday under the framework of a deal-monitoring panel, where the EU envoy called for continued and thorough implementation of the pact "in good faith".

The historic agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was negotiated between Iran and the six powers, and took effect in January 2016 to remove sanctions against Tehran in exchange for rolling back its nuclear development.

The Friday meeting was the eighth gathering of the parties to the so-called Joint Commission, assigned to monitor the action plan and address issues arising from its implementation.

The participants "reviewed the status of the sanctions-lifting during which the chair [EU Deputy Secretary-General for the External Action Service Helga Schmid] underlined the need to implement JCPOA in good faith and in all its provisions", said an EU statement carried by the European External Action Service website.

"Noting the significance of the second anniversary of the JCPOA, all participants confirmed their continued adherence to JCPOA commitments and stressed the need to ensure its full and effective implementation in a constructive atmosphere," the statement said.

The JCPOA's two-year anniversary was celebrated on July 14.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, which is responsible for monitoring Iran's commitments, has verified the Islamic Republic's full compliance in several reports.

"The parties welcomed the latest report from the IAEA verifying Iran's continued adherence to its nuclear-related commitments and the chair underlined the need for continued compliance. They also discussed the nuclear aspects of the deal, including positive developments on Arak, ongoing and future civil nuclear cooperation and procurement-related matters," the EU said in the statement.

The curbs Tehran accepted on its nuclear program under JCPOA require it, among other things, to redesign and reconfigure the Arak reactor.

***Focus on Sanctions

The commission's Friday session was also meant to address Iran's complaint about the US uncooperative stance toward the pact.

"Much of the time of the meeting was focused on the issue of sanctions removal. We explained the violations of the other side, particularly the US, case by case," the head of the Iranian delegation, Abbas Araqchi, told reporters after the meeting.

"Iran stressed that the United States should be held accountable for its bad promises," he was quoted as saying by IRNA.

US Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon led Washington's team.

Araqchi and Shannon sat down for a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the JCPOA panel's talks, at the request of the American diplomat. He had earlier ruled out direct talks with the American side unless the need arises only to discuss JCPOA.

US President Donald Trump has harshly criticized the deal, widely seen as the signature foreign policy achievement of his predecessor, Barack Obama.

Trump called it "the worst deal ever" while campaigning for last year's US presidential election, but backtracked on an initial pledge to dismantle the international pact and instead has pressed a demand for its full revision, which has met opposition from the US partners.

Despite the easing of nuclear sanctions, Iran is still subject to US penalties imposed over its missile activities and allegations of terrorism bankrolling and human rights abuses.

Since taking the oath of 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.

The fresh US sanctions targeted 18 entities and individuals for supporting what the state department alleged were "illicit Iranian actors or transnational criminal activity".

Russia's representative in the Friday talks warned that although the new US sanctions might have no direct influence on JCPOA's implementation, they may still vitiate the atmosphere around it, Sputnik reported.

"This time the discussion was serious enough, as Iranians are obviously dissatisfied with ongoing events. Even though the United States is prolonging a 'sanction relieved' regime that is provided for in the JCPOA, and imposing a new package of sanctions under another pretext unrelated to the JCPOA, the atmosphere is still getting poisoned," Alexey Karpov said.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints