JCPOA is a complex deal that its implementation entails rigorous efforts by all sides: Kimball

November 22, 2015

TEHRAN - Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association in Washington, has called the JCPOA a “complex agreement” that its implementation will entail “rigorous follow-through” by Iran, a “strong commitment” by the U.S. and the other major powers, and “professional and unbiased inspections” by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Under the agreement, struck on July 14 between Iran and the 5+1 group – the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany – the Islamic Republic is obliged to slow down its nuclear activities in exchange for a termination of sanctions against the country.

Under a roadmap pact Iran reached with the IAEA director Yukiya Amano alongside the July 14 agreement, the Islamic Republic is required to give the IAEA enough information about its past nuclear program to allow the UN watchdog to write a report on the issue by mid-December.

Iran’s ambassador to the IAEA announced on Friday that Amano will release his report on December 1 to 2.

The nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, is expected to go into force once Amano releases his findings about Iran’s past nuclear activities.

In an exclusive interview with the Tehran Times, Kimball said the next report “will not, by itself, ‘normalize’ Iran’s nuclear program in the eyes of the International Atomic Energy Agency or the international community.”

The IAEA needs to conduct broad inspections of Iran’s nuclear activities within the framework of the additional protocol over the coming years, he noted.

“That will depend upon the IAEA reaching what is called a ‘broader conclusion,’ which is a more rigorous designation issued by the IAEA to provide assurance that a country’s nuclear program is entirely peaceful,” Kimball said. “Reaching such a broader conclusion requires implementation of the additional protocol for a number of years, and in Iran’s case, full compliance with the JCPOA over many years.”

Talking in the International Institute for Strategic Studies in Brussels on November 11, Amano said, “The IAEA will continue to implement safeguards in Iran with a view to being able to draw what we call the ‘broader conclusion’ – that all nuclear material remains in peaceful activities – in due course.”

Amano added the IAEA “has faced criticism from many quarters, not all of it fair”.

“We have been accused both of being too tough on Iran and of being too accommodating. That suggests to me that we have probably got it about right.”

The IAEA chief added, “The objective of our organization is not to verify the intention” of Iran because “it is not possible to verify the intention in the past and in the future. This is not our job.”

As part of the nuclear agreement Iran must decommission a number of its operating centrifuges, reconfigure the Arak heavy water reactor, and allow more intensive inspections.

“The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is a win-win agreement; consequently, if Iran follows through on its commitments to reduce its excess uranium enrichment capacity, lower its stockpile of low-enriched uranium, convert the Arak reactor so it cannot produce plutonium for nuclear weapons, and allows for the more extensive IAEA inspections called for in the agreement, the P5+1 will follow-through with their commitments to grant nuclear-related sanctions relief,” Kimball explained.

Kimball said, “The Iran-IAEA ‘roadmap’ of July 15 requires that Iran deliver to the IAEA all information necessary to allow the agency to conclude its investigation about past activities with [possible] military dimensions.”

He added, “There are many tests that lie ahead. It is important to keep in mind that the JCPOA provides timely access to any site, military or civilian if the IAEA has legitimate concerns about illicit nuclear activities. The IAEA must identify specific questions to be resolved and identify specific locations where it wants to send its inspectors.” 

The UN nuclear watchdog announced on Wednesday that Iran has disconnected almost a quarter of its uranium-enriching centrifuges in less than a month.

Hamid Baeedinejad, the director for political and international affairs at the Iranian Foreign Ministry, writing on his Instagram account on Tuesday also said “the talks aimed at making preparations for the implementation of the nuclear agreement are seriously underway at all levels.”

Abbas Araqchi, a senior Iranian senior nuclear negotiator, told a meeting of foreign ambassadors in Tehran on Monday that “foreign corporations can embark on signing economic contracts with Iranian sides without any problem the day after implementation of the JCPOA.”

Some U.S. Republican presidential candidates have said they would tear up the nuclear agreement. However, Kimball said, “The next U.S. president will most certainly respect the JCPOA, especially if Iran does not violate the terms of the agreement in the coming year.”