JCPOA Compliance Subject to Cost-Benefit Approach

JCPOA Compliance Subject to Cost-Benefit ApproachJCPOA Compliance Subject to Cost-Benefit Approach

Iran will uphold its side of the 2015 nuclear deal as long as it evaluates the international agreement to be beneficial, a nuclear negotiator said.

“The Islamic Republic will remain in compliance with JCPOA as long as it benefits from it,” Abbas Araqchi was quoted as saying by Fars News Agency on Saturday.

JCPOA stands for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the formal name of the agreement negotiated with six major powers to remove sanctions against Iran in return for rolling back its nuclear development.

“Whenever we realize that JCPOA’s disadvantages and costs outweigh its benefits, we will not hesitate to pull out of the action plan. They [the Americans] are attempting to push us to that point,” Araqchi told reporters.                                    

The US Senate voted almost unanimously on Thursday to impose fresh penalties against the Islamic Republic, which are part of a broader sanctions bill also targeting Russia and North Korea.

The sanctions would penalize Iran for its ballistic missile program and alleged terrorism and human rights charges.

The White House said on Friday Trump will sign the legislation, which many believe marks a record low in Washington-Moscow relations after the Cold War. Since assuming office in January, Trump has adopted a harsh policy on Iran as evidenced by several directives to toughen the US regime of non-nuclear sanctions.

In its latest hostile move, the US administration sanctioned six entities for their contributions to Tehran’s missile program on Friday.

It followed another raft of sanctions 10 days earlier, targeting 18 entities and individuals for backing what the US State Department alleged were “illicit Iranian actors or transnational criminal activity”.

  No Request for Inspections

Responding to a question about recent media reports that the Trump administration is pushing for inspections of Iranian military sites, Araqchi said no such inspection request has been received.

“The UN nuclear agency has made no request for access to our military facilities to carry out inspections. If it decides to do so, it would have to go through a mechanism that involves many stages and requires it to present evidence and documents,” he said.

“We have said we have our concerns and will not give the agency the permission” to inspect the military sites, he added.    

The media said last week the US administration is demanding the inspection of what it called suspicious Iranian military sites to test the strength of the nuclear deal that Trump is bent on dismantling.

Tehran can propose alternatives to on-site inspections, or reject the request, which would trigger a 24-day process for the Joint Commission countries to override the rejection. That could drag on for months.  

Araqchi added that the Foreign Ministry’s team of diplomats representing Iran in meetings of the Joint Commission is not satisfied with the way the panel has dealt with the US uncooperative approach toward the nuclear accord.

The commission comprises representatives from all the seven parties to the accord and is tasked with handling issues arising from its implementation.

It last convened on July 21 in Vienna to address Tehran’s complaints.

Iran can use the commission’s quarterly meetings to trigger a formal dispute resolution mechanism set out for cases where one party feels there is a breach of the deal.

“We have apprised the JCPOA oversight committee of our [dissatisfaction],” Araqchi said, adding that the decision rests with the high-powered Iranian committee, which works under the Supreme National Security Council, about whether to take the issue to the next level and raise it in a ministerial meeting.


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