MNA– Seyed Hossein Naghavi Hosseini of Parliament National Security and Foreign Policy Commission read the full text of Report by JCPOA Supervising Committee on Parliament open session on Sunday 30 October.
The report, a 15-page document, and drafted in several parts and sub-sections, is a report of the latest developments in JCPOA implementation by Iran and 5+1 countries. Iran’s section enumerates the achievements secured by the nuclear negotiators. It also lists the cases where concessions had been made; the report on EU addresses EU’s share of commitments where there has been some progress. However, in the US part, it criticizes the country for breaching promises.
Iran’s commitment include the following, where Iran had been fully complied with the obligations JCPOA stipulates:
- Measures to prove transparency; including but not limited to preparing and communicating to the IAEA of long-term statement of enrichment and Research and Development activities, statement of country’s 8 nuclear sites and facilities, statements of construction and production of any sort in nuclear industry, statement of construction and production activities of the Additional Protocol; statements of mines and manufacturing activities of enrichment, data on storing material, complementary data on nuclear material exempted by the JCPOA of Additional Protocol provisions, a statement of a 10-year plan and other current private sector research and development;
- Removing of calandria of Arak heavy water 40-mW power plant and filling with concrete to rule out further development;
- Cutting the number of active centrifuges in Natanz facility of 19,000 centrifuges to current 5060 centrifuges, with SWU of IR1 in 30 cascades of 168 centrifuges each; dismantling of surplus number of centrifuges, stipulating that if any single centrifuge stops working, new centrifuges would replace;
- Fully stopping of enrichment of uranium above 3.67 per cent purity;
- Decreasing in Fordow facility of 3,000 centrifuges to 1044 centrifuges in 6 cascades in one wing and removing additional centrifuges from the facility;
- Ending injection of UF6 gas to remaining 1044 centrifuges and keeping centrifuges in standby position without further activity;
- Changing the application of Fordow facility to R&D center to produce stable isotopes with cooperation of Russia;
- Exchanging or selling of the uranium enriched with yellow cake and to receive the same amount of yellow cake;
- Volunteer Implementation of Additional Protocol;
The report then turns to achievements by Iran during the implementation of the JCPOA:
- Securing the accord of the 5+1 in redesigning of Arak heavy water facility and converting it to a 20-mW heavy water reactor according to the latest international standards of safety and storing of fuel rods of metallic uranium of the past activities, under the supervision of the IAEA;
- Keeping active heavy water production in Arak facility and selling of surplus heavy water in global markets;
- Continuing to enrich uranium up to purity of 3.67 per cent with limitation that it should not exceed 300kg per annum;
- Keeping R&D program and extending of mechanical testing of IR2, IR4, IR5, IR6, IR7, and IR8 machines, with single machine of IR5 receiving injection of UF6 along with 10 centrifuge chain of IR6;
- Fully addressing and solving the Possible Military Dimensions and its international consequences;
- Preparing the international mentality for broader and more recognized nuclear cooperation with international participation.
The report admits that during the implementation of JCPOA, some part of the 5+1 commitments had been realized including notably cancelling UN seven mandatory resolutions, namely, 1696 (2006), 1737 (2006), 1747 (2007), 1803 (2008), 1835 (2008), 1929 (2010) and 2224 (2015), with sanctions panel and committee having been resolved (which provisioned by Article 18 of the JCPOA).
It also says that the sanctions related to IAEA had been resolved, along with US secondary sanctions.
According to the report, the US has issued general permissions in line with its commitments in the JCPOA which made possible participation and investment by Iranian nationals in American firms; however, this permission is stalled in more technical glitches, as it interfere with the workings of primary nuclear-related sanctions, thus depriving it from full usefulness for Iranian entrepreneurs. The US also permits selling of foods and fruits by Iranian nationals to American importers and making payment accordingly.
On the EU part of the sanctions, the report states that the EU had approved Decision 37 on the day of the JCPOA implementation, which officially puts into effect the removal of financial and economic sanctions according to Decision 1863. According to the Decision, the EU financial and economic sanctions on Iran would remove articles of Council Regulation (EU) 2015/1861 amending Regulation (EU) No 267/2012 concerning restrictive measures against Iran.
The report also accounts for other sanctions targeting private citizens and institutions related to Iran’s nuclear program; 606 individuals and firms along with 303 planes, oil tankers, and ships had been removed from the US and the EU lists of sanctions. It also adds that the Islamic Republic of Iran had held sessions with France, Switzerland, Spain, Russia, Hungary, and Czech Republic on nuclear safety and other issues.
On oil and gas, Iran’s economy had been enjoying more easing of the sanctions according to the report; Iran’s oil in the global market has increasingly found customers; its exports reached 2 million barrels per day ten months after the implementation day from ludicrously low 970,000 barrels per day in which was a record low in the second quarter of 2013. On marine and shipping industries, Iran’s fleet and shipping and oil tanker companies were also removed from the list of sanctions and found opportunities to normal activities. They had been receiving legal permits for ships and international insurance companies had started to provide insurance coverage, with Iranian ports now frequented with international cargo ships.
The EU has contributed to Iran’s oil and energy industry through removing sanctions. These include: 1. Improved oil production and export capacities and improvements in gas condensate and other petrochemical production; 2. A general movement forward to addressing country’s issues in marine transportation; 3. Reduced risk in Iran’s credit conditions; 4. Receiving of overdue debts from international partners and improved economic conditions; 5. Cancellation of the US resolutions under Chapter 7 of the Charter; 6. Resolving of PMD of Iran’s nuclear program; and 7. International recognition of Iran’s nuclear rights.
In insurance sector, notably Iran’s oil tankers enjoyed services by P&I Club of Risk Managers in the US (a prestigious insurance holding). Now, risk inherent to oil and energy, and air industries are covered by European insurance companies.
In banking sector however, the progress has been slow, with small banks pioneering opening transactions with Iran’s financial sector, with larger bank hesitatingly awaiting further inspection of the situation. Iran’s frozen assets have largely been transferable to domestic banks; however, problems still persist in currency change and sanctions not related to nuclear program still restrict Iran’s financial transactions with the world.
In an important part, the report turns to the US breach of promise in keeping its sanctions and adding to previous sanctions which the report believed was in line with the US animosity toward the Islamic Establishment; according to the report, the US has been waging efforts to keep sanctions, through its dominance over international financial systems and the fear that US supervisory and punitive measures would be a nemesis for any banks cooperating with Iran. On international insurance, the coverage still has to be completed. The US, the report reads, “has continued and perpetuated sanctions on Iran’s abilities to transfer money and has deprived Iran of capacity to trade in dollar, with subsequent problems hitting the financial sector.”
The report laments that still sanctions bite Iran’s banking and financial sector, where the effectiveness of the JCPOA implementation has been subject to public suspicion as well as government officials voicing discontent that JCPOA has not brought concrete outcomes to the general public. Despite the alleviations of some sanctions by Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the general emphasis on documents is on ‘strict compliance with sanctions against Iran.’ This poses challenges which the international banking system and individual banks should deal with. The European banks are largely reluctant to work with Iranian financial sector, with US punitive measures looming around. Even if they receive guarantees from the US Treasury, there remains the fear that the elites in financial sector of the US provide very different interpretations of the law, thus implicating the EU banks in illicit financial activities with Iran which are subject to sanctions. OFAC is the major body to issue necessary financial permits, however, it has largely avoided issuing more comprehensive permits and usually has been terse on questions posed by the EU banks. The overall situation is far from satisfactory.
The report also states that in areas where removal of sanctions provided modicum of hope, yet other sorts of sanction under diverse pretexts had persisted to bite Iran’s economy. On the day of implementation of JCPOA, the US added some 11 Iranian legal and real individuals. Most controversial of the new restrictions was Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act by the US congress which largely restricts entry to the US of individuals visiting Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Sudan beginning March 2011, and these individuals should apply for US visa to come to the country. It largely affects EU individuals swarming Iran as tourists or trade delegations and is in line with Iranophobic sentiments promoted in the US to hit the influx of investments to Iran. In April 20, 2016, the US Supreme Court approved the court verdict that the victims of terrorists where Iran had been implicated, would file for reimbursements provided by Iran’s frozen assets in the US banks. This is outright expropriation of Iranian assets and was condemned by Tehran as a hostile measure which would exacerbate the already tense relations.
Barack Obama signed Continuation of the National Emergency with respect to Iran on March 9, 2016 which extended sanctions approved in March 15, 1995. This was in great contradiction with implementation of the JCPOA in January 16, 2016. In April 2016, Mark Toner, the Deputy Department Spokesperson told reporters about a decision by the Administration not to allow Iran to trade in dollar. In April 14, 2016, the US government presented the Congress with its 40th Human Rights Report, which as usual, had levelled unfounded human rights charges on Iran. Josh Earnest, the White House spokesperson accused Iran of supporting terrorism. The US government has delayed issuing permissions for Boeing and Airbus in selling planes to Iran which violates the JCPOA provisions.
The report concludes with some recommendations to the government which includes reconstruction of the Arak heavy water facility. “The government is responsible to strictly watch any violations of the JCPOA provisions in returning sanctions or putting new sanctions by any member of the 5+1 to initiate possible retaliatory measures or to stop volunteer cooperation and implementation of the Additional Protocol and to return to situation before sanctions as rapidly as possible,” it reads. “During 3 years, such retaliatory measures should increase the enrichment capacity to 190,000 SWO (predicted by the Leader during negotiations); the Supreme National Security Council will be responsible to pursue the issue; the government also would provide the Council with a 4-month plan for approval.”
“The IAEA inspections should comply with the international regulations and country’s expediencies set by the SNSC; the government should closely watch the process to strictly protect the classified information and nuclear secrets especially in military and security grounds; the amount of cooperation with the IAEA should hinge upon the protective measures to protect Iran’s information from third-party access; any access for the IAEA to military individuals and centers is not allowed. Exceptions are where the SNSC approves such isolated cases requested by the IAEA,” it concludes.