Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Moscow (Excerpts)

November 28, 2019

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear


Implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action concerning Iran’s nuclear programme

A JCPOA Joint Commission meeting at the level of foreign ministers will be held on December 6. 

Such meetings are held regularly once a quarter. The main objectives remain the same: to establish conditions for the consistent implementation of the JCPOA with account of all commitments undertaken by the signatory countries and ensure a reliable protection of agreed projects from external assaults, primarily from the United States. We expect a detailed and productive discussion on all the aspects of the implementation of the comprehensive agreements, which are in need of the broadest international support, and additional efforts from all JCPOA participants aimed at maintaining its viability and sustainability.

On December 12, the UN Secretary-General’s regular report on the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 2231 is scheduled for debate in New York. Let me remind you that it was this resolution that approved the JCPOA. We hope, as always, that the UN leadership’s assessments will be balanced and objective and will contribute to the stabilisation of the situation around the JCPOA.

Since the United States announced the withdrawal from the nuclear deal in May 2018, the implementation of the JCPOA has not had any smooth periods. Washington’s defiant non-compliance with the UNSC Resolution 2231 is a grave challenge to the entire system of international relations based on the central role of the UN and its Security Council. It is this fact coupled with European countries’ reluctance to set conditions for Iran obtaining trade and economic advantages from its participation in the nuclear deal that causes all the challenges facing the JCPOA.

Unsurprisingly, many colleagues in Western countries do not speak out about it or prefer to recall it only backstage, in a hushed voice, and trying to channel the focus of the international community towards Iran’s suspension of its commitments under the JCPOA. Meanwhile, nobody bothers to remember that the JCPOA is based on a thoroughly calculated balance of interests and the principle of reciprocity. This was undermined by the US’ illegal actions, which culminated, in particular, in its withdrawal from the deal outside the framework which provides for an opportunity to leave the agreement. We give credit to Iran’s regular statements regarding its readiness to promptly return to complying with JCPOA requirements as soon as its lawful interests within the nuclear deal are honoured.

Those who incessantly criticise Iran (we see these publications and official statements from a number of countries) for its nuclear activities are stubbornly evading such crucial details as the fact that Tehran complies with its obligations to the IAEA in full. Only those elements of the nuclear deal are suspended that extend beyond the NPT and the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement. It seems to be an “uncomfortable” truth that Iran remains the IAEA’s most-monitored state and conducts all its nuclear activities under the agency’s permanent control. The Additional Protocol to the IAEA Safeguards Agreement plays an important part in that. 

We believe that our colleagues should stop viewing Iran as an object for exerting their efforts devoid of any international legal basis, an object they can manipulate in any way at their discretion. Iran is a full-fledged partner for cooperation on the JCPOA platform.

We proceed from the premise that all the JCPOA participants must be equally interested in preserving the agreement and its further full-bodied, real, comprehensive (as stated in the document’s title) implementation in accordance with the parameters, provisions and schedules agreed on in 2015. The commitment of all the parties involved to the common goal was stated in the joint statement following the ministerial meeting in New York on September 25. This is the starting point for all subsequent discussions within the JCPOA Joint Commission and at the UN. We believe it is counterproductive to persistently try to determine for whom the JCPOA matters most.  Its preservation is a common task for all the participants in the 2015 comprehensive agreements. Moreover, time and global trends show that the document has no valid alternative.