JCPOA Joint Commission meeting convenes as US pushes to kill Iran deal

Press TV – The remaining signatories to a 2015 Iran nuclear deal have kicked off a meeting in Vienna to discuss ways to keep the accord alive amid the United States’ efforts to restore international sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

The Tuesday meeting is co-chaired by Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, European External Action Service Secretary General Helga Maria Schmid along with representatives from the remaining parties to the nuclear deal — France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia and China.

Speaking about the special significance of the meeting, Araqchi said, “The issue of US efforts in New York will definitely be a serious topic in the session of the Joint Commission [to the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).]

The Iranian diplomat expressed hope that the participants would hold constructive talks and reach consensus on the continuation of cooperation in the future and make decisions about ways to counter the US attempts aimed at destroying the multilateral nuclear accord.

The United States is trying to invoke the snapback mechanism in the multilateral nuclear agreement despite its withdrawal from the accord in May 2018 in violation of UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2231 that endorses the JCPOA.

The United States’ most prominent Western allies have refused to fall into step with the push, which follows Washington’s humiliating defeat in securing an extension of the UN arms embargo against Iran at the UNSC last month.

The president of the Security Council on August 25 dismissed attempts by the US to reinstate all UN sanctions against Iran, citing a lack of consensus in the 15-member body.

The JCPOA Joint Commission meeting is also being held few days after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi traveled to Iran on his first trip since taking up the top post last year.

At the end of the two-day trip by the IAEA chief, Iran and the UN agency issued a joint statement on agreements and the results of high-level talks between the two sides.

“After intensive bilateral consultations, Iran and the IAEA reached an agreement on the resolution of the safeguards implementation issues specified by the IAEA, in good faith. In this regard, Iran is voluntarily providing the IAEA with access to the two locations specified by the IAEA and facilitating the IAEA verification activities to resolve these issues,” the statement said.

In a post on his Twitter account on Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh pointed to the beginning of the Vienna talks and said “important issues” are on the agenda of the meeting.

Russia’s Permanent Representative to International Organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov noted Tuesday on Twitter that “consultations in different formats are already under way.”

A spokesman for the European Union said on Friday that the bloc remains committed to implementing the landmark nuclear deal in order to observe international agreements and respect the EU’s shared international security.

“The EU remains committed to implementing the JCPOA as a matter of respecting international agreements and of our shared international security,” the spokesperson for EU Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Peter Stano, said.