UK seizure of Iranian oil tanker violation of JCPOA: Araghchi

MNA – “Detaining of Iranian oil tanker, Grace 1, by UK in Gibraltar was a violation of JCPOA since none of the deal’s members can impede Iran from exporting its oil,” Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said before today’s extraordinary meeting of the Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in Vienna.

“During the past month, various changes have happened regarding JCPOA, which made it vital to hold a joint commission meeting,” he said.

Araghchi noted that when Iran started to scale down its JCPOA commitments, the US wanted to refer the case to the UN Board of Governors, but Europeans wanted to discuss the issue in a joint commission since they believe it is related to JCPOA mechanism.

“There are some other issues that we consider as violation of JCPOA or lack of commitment of JCPOA-members,” he said, “We and Europeans both wanted today’s meeting to be held.”

Underlining that in today’s meeting, the sides will negotiate on each other’s protests, the Iranian official said that “in the previous meeting we decided to hold JCPOA foreign ministers meeting and the issue is still on agenda and we hope that we can reach clear results in this regard.”

He also informed that as before, Iran will have, mutual, trilateral, and multilateral meetings with JCPOA member countries on the sidelines of the extraordinary JCPOA meeting.

Araghchi left Tehran for Vienna early Sunday to participate in the extraordinary meeting of a joint commission on the 2015 nuclear deal – the JCPOA.

Heading a high-ranking delegation, Araghchi will take part in the meeting today (July 28) to discuss the nuclear deal with the remaining parties to the historic pact

According to Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi, following the previous meeting of the JCPOA joint commission on June 28, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s new policy of halting the implementation of some of its JCPOA commitments yielded obvious and practical results, and the European sides have requested that the new situation be discussed in a Joint Commission meeting at the level of deputies before the meeting of foreign ministers in Vienna.

In the meantime, Iran has also announced a series of new cases of non-implementation of the JCPOA commitments by the other parties in regard to the efficacy of the removal of sanctions, in a letter signed by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and the other JCPOA members.

As a result, the spokesman said, the JCPOA parties believe that it would be appropriate for the deputies and the political directors to discuss these issues as well before the meeting of foreign ministers.

On May 8, 2018, the US unilaterally pulled out from the JCPOA and reimposed its sanctions on Iran’s key economic sectors.

European signatories of the 2015 nuclear deal said they will keep the accord alive by launching the long-awaited INSTEX to help Iran reap some benefits from the JCPOA.

However, they have shown clear inaction in saving the deal, while the US violation of the JCPOA has barred Tehran from benefiting from the economic dividends of the JCPOA.

Running out of patience with the EU’s sluggishness, Iran reduced its commitments under the deal on May 8, and warned the EU that it would further reduce its commitments to the accord after 60 days if its demands were not met.

Iran recently started downgrading the second phase of its nuclear commitments in response to the E3’s lack of action to resist the US pressure and sanctions.