On September 1, 2020, the signatories to the Iran nuclear deal are meeting in Vienna as the US urges the reimposition of international sanctions on Tehran and the extension of the conventional arms embargo against it.
All participants, including delegates from China, France, Germany, Russia, Britain, and Iran, reaffirmed the importance of preserving the agreement, recognizing 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 on Tuesday.
Helga SCHMID, Secretary-General of the European External Action Service who chaired a meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission, said on Twitter that the participants were “united in resolve to preserve the Iran Deal and find a way to ensure full implementation of the agreement despite current challenges”.
Iran insists it is entitled to do so under the deal, which swapped sanctions relief for Iran’s agreement to scale back its nuclear programme, following the US withdrawal from the accord in 2018 and its reimposition of sanctions on Iran.
The Iranian atomic energy last week agreed for inspectors of the UN’s nuclear watchdog to visit two sites suspected of having hosted undeclared activity in the early 2000s.
Abbas ARAGHCHI the Deputy Foreign Minister who was in Vienna, to attend the commission meeting, said this gathering is of special importance, given Washington’s efforts to revive the previous resolutions of the UN Security Council against Iran to destroy the landmark deal.
“I hope the Joint Commission can reach a consensus on how to proceed and how to counter US efforts to ruin JCPOA,” he said in an interview with state television ahead of the meeting, IRNA reported.
Rafael GROSSI, the head of International Atomic Energy Agency had traveled to Iran on his first trip since taking up the top post last year and after months of calling for access.
“Iran is voluntarily providing the IAEA with access to the two locations specified by the IAEA” GROSSI and the head of Iran’s nuclear agency, Ali Akbar SALEHI, said in a joint statement last week.
“Both sides recognize the independence, impartiality and professionalism of the IAEA continue to be essential in the fulfilment of its verification activities,” the statement said.
The IAEA stepped up pressure on Iran in June when its Board of Governors passed a resolution calling it to let inspectors into the sites and cooperate with the agency.
Results from any site visits are, however, expected to take three months, according to a diplomat familiar with the matter, so “it risks being a problem then with the Iranians” if anything undeclared and nuclear-related is found.
Mikhail ULYANOV, Russia’s ambassador to International Organisations in Vienna, on Monday wrote on Twitter that “nuclear deal participants have a lot of topics to discuss”.
Mark FITZPATRICK, an associate fellow of the International Institute for Strategic Studies said last week’s agreement on access kept “Iran generally in line with the rest of the world, against the isolated United States”.
Fu CONG, director-general of the Department of Arms Control of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, told reporters after the meeting “U.S., being a country that has withdrawn from the JCPOA, does not have the legal ground or legal standing to trigger a snapback”.
“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 added.
China welcomes the consensus reached between Iran and the IAEA on allowing inspectors access to two locations, and urged all relevant parties to help implement the agreement, CONG said.
The UN blocked last week the US bid to reimpose international sanctions on Iran, while Washington also failed to rally enough support to extend an arms embargo that was scheduled to start being rolled back from October.
The IAEA, which updates its members on Iran’s nuclear activities, is expected to issue a report ahead of a meeting of member states to discuss the dossier later this month.
This article was edited using the data from the Aljazeera.com, France24.com, Financialtribune.com, and News.cgtn.com