Relevant parties reaffirm commitment to Iran nuclear deal despite challenges

Relevant parties reaffirmed their commitment here on Tuesday to preserve and implement the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal.

Secretary general of the European External Action Service (EEAS) Helga Schmid, who chaired a meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission, wrote on Twitter that participants of the meeting were “united in resolve to preserve the Iran Deal and find a way to ensure full implementation of the agreement despite current challenges”.

All participants, including delegates from China, France, Germany, Russia, Britain and Iran, reaffirmed the importance of preserving the agreement, recognising that “it is a key element of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture, as endorsed by United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231,” according to a statement published on the website of the EEAS later Tuesday.

The delegates reaffirmed that the United States unilaterally announced its withdrawal from the JCPOA on May 8, 2018 and that it had not participated in any JCPOA-related activities subsequently, it said.

“U.S., being a country that has withdrawn from the JCPOA, does not have the legal ground or legal standing to trigger a snapback,” Fu Cong, director general of the Department of Arms Control of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, told reporters after the meeting.

“This position has been echoed by the majority of the international community, as has been shown in the voting of the Security Council, and that momentum needs to be maintained,” he said.

Fu called on the international community to continue to stand on the right side of history, safeguarding multilateralism and upholding the authority of the JCPOA and United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231.

China hopes that all parties should resolve differences in terms of agreement implementation through dialogue and consultation within the framework of the JCPOA Joint Commission, and restore the balance of rights and obligations under the deal, he said.

China welcomes the consensus reached between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on allowing IAEA inspectors access to two locations, and urged all relevant parties to help implement the agreement, Fu said.

As the JCPOA cannot solve all regional security issues, while maintaining effectiveness and authority of the JCPOA, China supports the establishment of another dialogue platform besides the JCPOA for reaching a new consensus on maintaining regional peace and stability, he said.

Participants of the meeting also reiterated the importance of nuclear non-proliferation projects, in particular the Arak Modernisation Project and the stable isotope project in Fordow, according to the EEAS.

“Taking into account the potential consequences of the US decision in May to end the Arak waiver, participants reiterated their strong support and collective responsibility for the continuation of the project,” it said.