EghtesadOnline: All the signatories of Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal and a major part of the international community are opposed to the United States’ unilateralism that undermines global multilateral efforts, an Iranian senior diplomat said.
Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi made the statement on Tuesday after attending a meeting of JCPOA Joint Commission in Vienna, Austria, ISNA reported.
The regular meeting held with a delay due to the coronavirus pandemic was largely focused on recent US efforts at the security council to revive previously revoked United Nations resolutions against Iran, which would effectively spell the end of the landmark nuclear agreement, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
Washington exited the nuclear deal in 2018 and reimposed tough sanctions on Tehran.
In late August, it moved to extend indefinitely Iran’s arms embargo that expires in October according to the terms of JCPOA and the UNSC Resolution 2231 that endorsed it.
When its relevant resolution was rejected by UNSC, the US went ahead with its threat to restore all UN sanctions on Iran through a mechanism foreseen in JCPOA, known as snapback.
“All JCPOA participants stressed that they do not recognize the US as a member and participant of JCPOA and see its efforts [at the UN headquarters] in New York … as illegal and ineffective,” Araqchi told reporters.
“This was the unanimous message of this meeting to the international community,” he declared.
Chair of the meeting also issued a statement reaffirming that the US cannot initiate the process of reinstating sanctions under Resolution 2231.
“The participants reaffirmed that the United States unilaterally announced its cessation of participation in the JCPOA on 8 May 2018 and that it had not participated in any JCPOA-related activities subsequently … It therefore could not be considered as a participant State,” the statement read as published on the website of the European External Action Service.
Araqchi said the parties are of the opinion that JCPOA is an achievement of diplomacy, which needs to be preserved, and they do not support any measure that weakens the agreement.
“They demand the full implementation of the JCPOA and we naturally expect the same,” he said.
Iran has reduced its compliance to the deal in response to the parties’ failure to fulfill their commitments to counter the effects of US sanctions.
There is disagreement in this regard among the remaining signatories, but they decided not to discuss the issue in this meeting, according to Araqchi, given the urgency of US measures at the UN Security Council.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov also pointed out lack of legal grounds behind US attempts to impose its "skewed and unilateral interpretation of the situation" on the world.
"We are witnessing an important process of consolidation of parties to the JCPOA against this American venture. We are certain that the results of today’s event will help our colleagues in New York continue their work in the right direction," he said.
Concord With IAEA
JCPOA members also welcomed the joint statement of Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency on August 26 after the two sides discussed and resolved their recent issues in Tehran.
The UN nuclear watchdog’s Board of Governors issued a resolution in mid-June, urging Iran to allow access to two former sites suspected of nuclear activity. Iran argued that the request was based on inadmissible intelligence.
However, after last week’s negotiations, Tehran agreed to voluntarily provide IAEA with access to the two locations and the UN agency assured that it will not raise further questions to Iran and make further requests for access to locations other than those declared by Iran under its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement and its Additional Protocol.
“Everyone described it as a positive development that the two sides could agree on a solution and believed that this agreement disarmed the US in the Security Council,” Araqchi said.
According to the commission’s statement, participants also reiterated their strong support and collective responsibility for the continuation of Arak Modernization Project, taking into account the potential consequences of the US decision in May to end the Arak waiver.
The waivers allowed Russian, Chinese and European companies to carry out work at Arak heavy water research reactor and a few other projects in Iran, but Washington decided in May to terminate the exemptions without valid justification.