On July 3, Josep Borrell, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Coordinator of the Joint Commission established as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear programme, informed the current parties to this comprehensive agreement about a message from Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
The message states that Iran is unsatisfied with the implementation of the JCPOA by the European participants and believes it is necessary to discuss this issue at the level of the Joint Commission as set out in paragraph 36 of the JCPOA.
Russia’s principled approach is that any issues arising from the implementation of the JCPOA must be resolved by the Joint Commission. However, it would be better to do it without resorting to extraordinary measures and without driving the solution-seeking process under artificially created time pressure. We told this our European JCPOA colleagues last January when they were unsuccessfully trying to enforce the Dispute Resolution Mechanism set out in paragraph 36. Our stance on this matter has not changed.
Since May 2018, when the United States unilaterally withdrew from the agreements, abandoned all of its obligations under the nuclear deal and started, contrary to UN Security Council Resolution 2231, to reinstate and toughen unilateral sanctions against Iran, the JCPOA has been constantly subjected to various stresses. Overcoming these stresses requires that the current parties are fully focused on the process, remain well-coordinated and have the strength and political will to preserve the diplomatic and non-proliferation victories that were achieved upon the execution of the JCPOA and secured by UN Security Council Resolution 2231.
Despite the challenges and disagreements, until recently, the current JCPOA parties have managed to remain on common ground and share the understanding of the fact that the nuclear deal is unique and has no alternatives – hence their multiple joint attempts to lead the JCPOA out of the crisis and return it to the framework that they originally agreed upon.
We urge our partners not to abandon this baseline. It is important to pursue the high aims set by the JCPOA and UN Security Council Resolution 2231. Digressing from this pursuit will eventually create new obstacles that will require additional energy from the participants to overcome. We need this energy to work together on maintaining the JCPOA rather than to settle political scores.