A meeting of the Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) took place in Vienna on Tuesday 1st September. Under the terms of the JCPOA, the Joint Commission is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the agreement. The Joint Commission was chaired, on behalf of EU High Representative Josep Borrell, by EEAS Secretary General Helga-Maria Schmid and was attended by representatives of China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and Iran at the level of Political Directors/Deputy Foreign Ministers.
All participants reaffirmed the importance of preserving the agreement recalling that it is a key element of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture, as endorsed by United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 (2015). Full implementation of the agreement by all sides remains crucial.
In light of recent discussions in the UN Security Council in New York concerning the issue of the attempted reinstatement of previously lifted UN sanctions, the participants reaffirmed that the United States unilaterally announced its cessation of participation in the JCPOA on 8 May 2018 and that it had not participated in any JCPOA-related activities subsequently. Participants reconfirmed that it therefore could not be considered as a participant State. In this regard, participants also reaffirmed their various statements and communications made previously at the UN Security Council including that of the High Representative of 20 August as the Coordinator of the JCPOA to the effect that the US cannot initiate the process of reinstating UN sanctions under UNSC resolution 2231.
Participants welcomed the Joint Statement of Iran and the IAEA dated 26 August, the implementation of which has already started. In this context, they recalled the important role of the IAEA as the sole impartial and independent international organisation responsible for the monitoring and verification of nuclear non-proliferation commitments.
The Joint Commission addressed nuclear as well as sanctions lifting issues under the agreement. Experts will continue discussions on all issues of concern.
Participants reiterated the importance of nuclear non-proliferation projects, in particular the Arak Modernisation Project and the stable isotope project in Fordow. Taking into account the potential consequences of the US decision in May to end the Arak waiver, participants reiterated their strong support and collective responsibility for the continuation of the project.
The meeting took place against the background of the coronavirus pandemic. Participants expressed their solidarity with all countries affected and with their efforts to address the outbreak. The Joint Commission had not been able to convene recently due to relevant travel restrictions.