JCPOA Dispute Resolution Process Faulty

JCPOA Dispute Resolution Process FaultyJCPOA Dispute Resolution Process Faulty

A lawmaker criticized the nuclear deal with major powers for its inadequate dispute settlement process, saying Iran's hands are tied to legally challenge those who violate the landmark international pact or pull out of it. In a recent talk with ICANA, Mohammad Javad Jamali lamented that the 2015 accord , known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, does not mete out fitting punishment for breaches by non-Iranian sides of the deal.

"A party that opts out of its commitments or the pact leads to [the involvement of] the United Nations Security Council, of which the US is a member [with veto power]. Such a mechanism cannot be helpful," said Jamali, who is also a member of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission.

"In the event of any party pulling out of the deal, it seems Iran's only option would be to return to the pre-deal situation [level of nuclear activities]."

All parties to the deal are satisfied with the deal that settled a lingering nuclear dispute, except the US.

The controversial US President Donald Trump seems set to stop confirming Iran's adherence to its commitments under the deal, which is aimed at undermining the pact. On Oct. 15, Trump must declare to the US Congress for the third time whether Iran is complying with the two-year nuclear deal, as he is required by US law to do every 90 days.

Last week, Washington Post reported unnamed sources close to the White House as saying that Trump has decided to announce in a speech scheduled for later this week that he would decertify Iran's compliance. Trump's refusal to certify would not automatically mean that unilateral anti-Iran US sanctions will snap back into place putting Washington in violation of the deal, although that remains a worst-case scenario.

If that happens, the ball will be thrown into the court of the Congress, which should decide within 60 days whether or not to reimpose sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

If sanctions return, Iran can trigger a formal dispute resolution mechanism set out for cases where one party feels a breach of the deal has occurred.

Based on this mechanism, Iran can take its grievances to the Joint Commission, a panel created to settle issues arising from the deal's implementation.

If the issue remains unresolved, Iran can take its dispute to foreign ministers of the parties to the accord and finally to an advisory board, which would consist of three members, one independent and the other two appointed by each of the parties involved in the dispute.

After that, Iran could treat actions it deems as constituting a breach of the nuclear deal as grounds to cease performing its commitments in whole or in part and/or notify the UN Security Council that it believes the issue constitutes a significant non-performance.

Upon receipt of the notification from the complaining participant, the UN Security Council will vote on a resolution whether to maintain or scrap the deal, allowing any permanent member of the UNSC, including the US, to veto the continuation of sanctions relief for Iran.


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