jcpoa 09 July 2020

EU says Iran has triggered JCPOA dispute mechanism

Iran has triggered a dispute resolution mechanism contained in the multilateral Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (‘JCPOA’) nuclear deal, citing concerns over its implementation, the European Union’s top diplomat has said.

‘I have received today a letter from the Foreign Minister of Iran referring Iran’s concerns regarding implementation issues by France, Germany and the United Kingdom under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to the Joint Commission for resolution through the Dispute Resolution Mechanism,’ Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign policy chief and the pact’s coordinator, said in a 3 July statement.

The JCPOA, which Iran signed with the US, Britain, Germany, France, China and Russia in 2015, has been unravelling since President Trump pulled Washington out of the agreement in 2018. Since then, Iran has accused Britain, France and Germany of not living up to their side of the agreement.

The process, triggered by Tehran, reportedly involves at least two 15-day mediation periods, with the possibility of nearly indefinite extensions if there is unanimous agreement between Iran and the remaining guarantors of the deal, including the Europeans plus China and Russia.

Borrell said he remains ‘determined to continue working with the participants of the JCPOA and the international community to preserve [the deal].’

Recently, the UN’s undersecretary-general told the Security Council that the JCPOA’ is the best way to ensure the peaceful nature of Iran’s atomic programme, despite the challenges to the deal.

Rosemary DiCarlo, under-secretary-general for political affairs, told the Security Council on 30 June that it was ‘regrettable’ the future of the agreement is in doubt since the US unilaterally pulled out of the JCPOA in 2018. 

She added that the subsequent re-imposition of US sanctions – which had been lifted under the agreement – and Washington’s decision not to extend waivers on oil trading with Tehran, are contrary to the aims of the JCPOA and that they impede the ability of Iran and other UN member states to fully implement the agreement and relevant UN resolutions.

‘We also regret the steps Iran has taken since July 2019 in response to the United States withdrawal,’ she said, explaining that, under IAEA monitoring, Tehran has surpassed limits stipulated in the agreement on uranium enrichment and stockpiles of heavy water and low-enriched uranium, and lifted limitations on its nuclear research and development activities.

‘Today, we appeal again to Iran to return to full implementation of the Plan,’ she said, also urging Tehran to address concerns raised by other states regarding its actions inconsistent with restrictive measures set out in UN resolutions.