JCPOA Joint Commission meeting is regular and usual: Iran

December 16, 2020 - 14:27

TEHRAN – Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, says the Joint Commission of the JCPOA (the official name for the 2015 Iran nuclear deal) is going to hold a normal and usual meeting.

“This meeting is one of the regular and usual meetings of the Joint Commission of the JCPOA, which is held every three months at the level of deputy ministers and political directors of JCPOA parties to review the implementation process and obstacles to the implementation of commitments by the parties,” Khatibzadeh said in a statement on Wednesday morning. 

He also said that the meeting will be held via videoconference due to Covid-19.

“Given the considerations related to Covid-19, this meeting will be held according to the schedule and via videoconference like many international meetings today, Wednesday, December 17, at 13:30 Tehran time,” the spokesman noted. 

Earlier this week, Seyed Abbas Araghchi, the deputy foreign minister of Iran for political affairs, announced that that the Joint Commission will hold a meeting at the level of deputy ministers and political directors of the 4+1 (France, Russia, China, the UK, and Germany). The meeting will be held via videoconference. Araghchi said he will represent Iran in the meeting.

In late November, the European Union External Action Service said in a statement that the meeting will be held in Vienna. The statement said that the meeting will discuss ways to preserve the deal. 

“Participants will discuss ongoing work to preserve the JCPOA and how to ensure the full and effective implementation of the agreement by all sides, including in the preparation of exchanges at Ministerial Level,” the statement said.

The Joint Commission is holding the meeting amid tensions between Iran the European Union over the execution of Rouhollah Zam, the operator of the Amad News website. The European signatories to the JCPOA denounced the executions as unacceptable, which prompted Iran to summon the French and German ambassadors to Tehran. 

The Europeans refrained from participating in a business forum aimed at promoting Iran-Europe business relations due to Zam’s execution. But an EU foreign service spokesman said that the execution of Zam will not negatively affect the JCPOA Joint Commission.

“I wouldn't mix the two issues,” the EU spokesman said on Monday according to EUobserver, adding, “You cannot connect it [the JCPOA], or link it, or even compare it with the objectives of the [postponed EU business] forum.” 

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also said that Zam’s execution was unlikely to damage Iran-Europe relations. “I see it as unlikely that the case will damage Iran and Europe relations,” the president said. 

The Wednesday meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission is the first meeting after Joe Biden won the U.S. presidential election in November. During his election campaign, Biden said he would rejoin the deal if he won the election. After the election, he also said that he still stands by his views that he will rejoin the nuclear deal even though he said that doing so will be hard.
 
The U.S. has withdrawn from the JCPOA but its role in the nuclear deal will be discussed in the Wednesday meeting, according to Mikhail Ulyanov, the permanent representative of Russia to international organizations in Vienna.

“The meeting of the Joint Commission on JCPOA at the level of political directors in virtual format will start in 1 hour. The main topic is how to preserve the nuclear deal and ensure its full and balanced implementation. The role of US in this regard will inevitably be discussed,” the Russian diplomat said in a tweet on Wednesday ahead of the meeting. 

SM/PA

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