Russia expects commission on Iranian nuclear deal to prevent crisis

TASS – Russia hopes that the next meeting of the commission on the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear deal scheduled to be held in February will help prevent the crisis around the agreement from escalating, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday.

“As for the next meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission scheduled for February, we hope that it will help prevent the crisis from escalating further and consolidate the signatories around the common task of salvaging the nuclear deal. We urge the E3 and the EU’s JCPOA coordinators to focus precisely on that,” the ministry said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry drew attention to a statement made by EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell, which was published on January 24. In it, he summed up the interim results of working contacts and informal consultations with the JCPOA signatories held after the UK, Germany and France notified him on January 14 that they were triggering the Dispute Resolution Mechanism envisaged by the JCPOA.

“For our part, we would like to confirm the existence of substantial difficulties created by the E3’s decision. Their step creates additional problems and challenges in the implementation of the JCPOA. Besides, the above-mentioned mechanism cannot be put into effect due to the absence of the necessary procedures and the Joint Commission’s decisions,” the ministry said.

It voiced concern over media reports citing “opinions of some anonymous officials” who referred to a 15-day period for finding a solution. “Until the JCPOA signatories make a joint decision on the relevant procedures, the conversations about the deadlines and ‘schedules’ are premature,” the Foreign Ministry pointed out.

The future of the nuclear deal was called into question after the United States unilaterally withdrew from it on May 8, 2018, and imposed sanctions on Tehran affecting oil exports. Iran argues that all other signatories, Europeans in the first place, ignore some of their own obligations in the economic sphere, thus making the deal in its current shape senseless. This said, it began to gradually scale down its commitments under the deal.

On January 14, the UK, Germany and France said that Iran’s actions were leaving them no other choice than to trigger the JCPOA Dispute Resolution Mechanism.