Moscow calls for holding meeting of Joint Commission on Iran nuclear deal

TASS – Moscow thinks it necessary to convene a meeting of the Joint Commission on the Iran nuclear deal, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday after Iran has scaled down the implementation of its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, known as the Iran nuclear deal).

“The seriousness of current events calls for convening a meeting of the Joint Commission as the JCPOA stipulates. In [the commission], the parties to the agreement, including Iran, might figure out how to normalize the situation, to join efforts in working out a roadmap in order to guarantee preservation of the deal which is of particular importance in the context of regional and global security,” the ministry said in a commentary.

Nevertheless, Moscow “has accepted with understanding” Tehran’s decision.

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Moscow condemned Washington’s actions as “not only did it withdraw from the JCPOA a year ago, not only did it blatantly and defiantly impose unilateral sanctions on Iran later on in violation of UN Security Council’s Resolution 2231, but it attempts to exert economic and political pressure in order to force other states not to implement the above-mentioned resolution and to impede their normal economic cooperation with Iran.”

According to the commentary, “Tehran’s clear and meticulous compliance with its commitments under the deal was not in doubt and has been confirmed in the IAEA director general’s 14 reports on verification and inspection in Iran.”

Without feedback

Regrettably, Tehran “has not received in full that economic feedback which was enshrined under the JCPOA,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

“Amid this situation, we understand Iran’s references to Provision 26 and Provision 36 of the JCPOA. They create an opportunity for Tehran, as long as other states – the signatories to the Plan of Action – are not compliant, to cease performing some of its commitments which, let us remind, were taken on voluntarily and have been fulfilled in the context of the implementation of a joint package of agreements,” it said.

“Along with this, we urge Iran to refrain from further steps curtailing the implementation of its commitments under the JCPOA and also urge other states – signatories to the [Iran] nuclear deal – to comply with their commitments under the Plan of Action, to speed up the implementation of projects which are being carried out in accordance with comprehensive agreements, in particular, the Arak reactor reconstruction,” the document says.

Speeding up

Apart from that, “the launch of a special payment system INSTEX, designed to help service trade transactions with Iran” should be drastically accelerated, the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed.

“We have been discussing such a mechanism since last July. Foreign ministers from the countries – signatories to the JCPOA – voiced their support at the New York meeting in September 2018,” the document says. “We hope that this mechanism could be used by all the countries continuing trade and economic cooperation with Iran, including Russia.”

Economic ties and projects

Russia has urged its foreign partners not to curtail cooperation with Tehran, in particular, not to stop buying energy carriers.

“We call on everyone not to scale back economic ties, including purchases of Iranian goods and services, primarily energy carriers,” the Russian foreign ministry said.

“We insist that Washington halt any action hampering other states’ cooperation with Iran in the financial, economic, political and other fields. Nevertheless, we observe how Washington is carrying on with its previous policy,” the ministry said. “The United States has just imposed a new package of sanctions on Iran’s metallurgical sector. We firmly condemn this step.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry reaffirmed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) “plays the key role in monitoring the implementation of Tehran’s commitments in nuclear nonproliferation.”

“We express our readiness to continue cooperation with Tehran under the JCPOA and while promoting other bilateral projects,” the commentary says. “In particular, we are set to go ahead with work converting the former Fordow uranium enrichment plant to the facility producing stable isotopes as well as with the Bushehr NPP construction.”

Iran nuclear deal

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known as the Iran nuclear deal, was signed between Iran and six international mediators (the United Kingdom, Germany, China, Russia, the United States, and France) on July 14, 2015. On January 16, 2016, the parties to the deal announced beginning of its implementation. Under the deal, Iran undertakes to curb its nuclear activities and place them under total control of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in exchange of abandonment of the sanctions imposed previously by the United Nations Security Council, the European Union and the United States over its nuclear program.

On May 8, 2018, US President Donald Trump announced that Washington would unilaterally quit the landmark accord inked in 2015 aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear program. Anti-Iranian sanctions, including a ban on purchasing oil, were reinstated in November and have been later extended.

On Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that in the following 60 days Tehran would stop implementing some commitments under the JCPOA, known as the Iran nuclear deal. Tehran will resume enrichment of uranium and will suspend modifying the Arak nuclear reactor unless the signatories to the agreement comply with their commitments.