Foreign ministers from JCPOA parties to hold talks on Dec. 21

JCPOA Joint Commission holds online meeting

December 16, 2020 - 21:52

TEHRAN - The Joint Commission of the JCPOA was convened in Vienna on Wednesday. It was attended online by deputy foreign ministers and political directors from Iran, Russia, China, Britain, Germany, France and the European Union.

The EU was represented by Helga Schmid, the secretary general of the European External Action Service.

Chaired by Schmid, the meeting was meant to prepare informal talks among the foreign ministers on December 21.

It was the first meeting of the Joint Commission since Joe Biden won the U.S. presidential election. Biden has promised to return to the JCPOA.

The JCPOA, commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, was inked in Vienna on July 14, 2015, between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – China, France, Russia, the UK and U.S. – plus Germany, together with the European Union.

But on May 8, 2018, the outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out of the landmark pact and slapped sweeping sanctions on Iran as part of his “maximum pressure” campaign” against Tehran. The Trump administration imposed a total ban on Iran’s oil export. 

After waiting for a year and seeing no action by the remaining parties, especially the European trio (known as E3), Iran said its strategic patience is over and started to gradually reduce its commitments to the JCPOA. 

Trump ditched the nuclear deal despite the fact that the JCPOA is endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

According to the JCPOA, Iran agreed to scale back its nuclear activities in exchange for termination of economic and financial sanctions. Iran has repeatedly said if the remaining parties to the deal honor their commitments, it will immediately reverse its decision.

The meeting also took place more than two weeks after the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, mainly blamed on Israel through a collusion with the Trump administration.

It came also after the Iranian parliament approved a legislation obliging the government to accelerate nuclear activities if the signatories to the JCPOA refuse to resume economic and financial trade with Iran.

“The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran is committed and obligated to implement legislation approved by the parliament after they have undergone legal processes,” Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi, who represented Iran in the Joint Commission, said after the online meeting.

“Instead of condemning the cowardly assassination of Iran’s prominent nuclear scientist, the three European governments condemned the legal punishment of a guilty individual,” added Araghchi in an open reference to the execution of Rouhollah Zam, the operator of the Amad News website which incited violence in the 2017 riots.

PA/PA

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