JCPOA, Sunset Clauses and struggle of Americans

IRNA – From the very beginning of its work, the Trump administration was trying to dismantle the nuclear deal and tried to push the Islamic Republic of Iran and the P5 + 1 out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of action (JCPOA). To this end, Americans are now seriously pointing their fingers at the sunset clauses.

The trend and the way of the JCPOA through which its actors operate is such that some say it will not last long. However, its structure and processes are still in place, and the arms and missile sanctions imposed on Iran in the near future will be lifted.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has not withdrawn from this agreement, despite the slowdown in its commitments to the JCPOA, and all of Iran’s actions have proceeded within the framework of this agreement. On the contrary, the persistence of the nuclear agreement means the end of international restrictions on a range of our country’s arms activities.

The question that comes to mind is, what are the implications and limitations of the Resolution 2231 and the JCPOA on Iran’s missile program? Importantly, the JCPOA did not mention Iran’s missile activities, and this issue has been specifically and precisely addressed in Resolution 2231.

In Resolution 2231, the five-year timeframe for arms trade is set, and the limit expires next year. The resolution also sets an eight-year limit on Iran’s missile activities and after that time, Iran’s activities in this area will return to normal.

The third paragraph of “Appendix B: Declaration” of a resolution issued by the Security Council in late July 2015 on Iran’s weapons and missile issues reads: Iran is required eight years after the “day of agreement” or until the IAEA represents a report confirming the “broader conclusions” (whichever occurs sooner) not to take any activity related to ballistic missiles designed for the portability of nuclear weapons, including launching using such ballistic missile technologies.

The resolution, therefore, raised the ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. However, Iranian missiles are not designed for this purpose and are defensive in nature. That is why the US officials assess the Islamic Republic’s missile activities as violating the spirit of a nuclear deal between Iran and P5 + 1 while acknowledging that Iran has adhered to its obligations.

Apart from weapons and missile activity, another US concern relates to the Sunset Clauses in the JCPOA, which allows Iran to increase enrichment centrifuges after 10 years and then allow increase low enriched uranium volume after 15 years. The clause was one of the most important achievements of Iran’s nuclear advisers during the two-year negotiations.

This same time constraint has become an issue of concern for enemies both during nuclear talks and in the aftermath of the JCPOA. They believe that after the expiry of the scheduled time and the normalization of Iran’s nuclear activities, Tehran will continue to move at a significant pace. With such an attitude, the adversaries have taken every opportunity to question this clause, but so far have not given way.

Overall, the American struggle in the coalition against Iran in the JCPOA has been in vain and the Islamic Republic has a short way to the end of the first limitation on arms sales. Therefore, even with the steps back in the JCPOA, Tehran has not withdrawn from the agreement and has already taken its fourfold steps under clauses 26 and 36.