Iranian, British foreign ministers discuss JCPOA

November 17, 2020 - 21:20

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has talked with his British counterpart, Dominic Raab, to discuss bilateral cooperation within the framework of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

In a phone call on Monday, Zarif and Raab also conferred on other issues of mutual interest, including bilateral relations and certain humanitarian issues, the Foreign Ministry website reported.

The JCPOA, commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, was reached on July 14, 2015 between Iran and six world powers, including the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany.

However, U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled his country out of the JCPOA in May 2018 and re-instated the sanctions that had been lifted under the pact. He also imposed secondary sanctions on third parties that sought to do business with Iran, effectively targeting the European parties to the agreement.

Verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran remained fully compliant with the JCPOA for an entire year, waiting for the co-signatories to honor their commitments and offset the impacts of the U.S. withdrawal.

But, as the European parties continued to renege on their obligations, the Islamic Republic moved to scale down its commitment to the JCPOA in a gradual format and based on the provisions of the accord itself that addressed a party’s legal rights in case of non-performance by other sides.

Meanwhile, President-elect Biden has voiced support for the JCPOA, saying his administration will rejoin the deal. Biden served as vice president in the Barack Obama administration, under which the nuclear deal was reached.

Wendy Sherman, the former U.S. nuclear negotiator with Iran, has said the Trump administration is trying to do whatever they can to make it more difficult for the Biden administration to return to the JCPOA.

“The president-elect has said he wants to reenter negotiations and build back better. So this will be a very complicated puzzle,” Sherman said in an interview with the PRI published on November 11.


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