JCPOA committee to discuss efforts to preserve the Iran nuclear deal

The Joint Commission on the Iran nuclear agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), will convene

nuclear deal

Photo: EPA/Stringer

The Joint Commission on the Iran nuclear agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), will convene today.

Signed in 2015, the agreement allowed for the lifting of economic sanctions on Iran in return for Tehran’s commitment to dismantling its nuclear program and fully cooperating with the International Atomic Energy Agency. However, the Trump administration’s unilateral withdrawal from the agreement in May 2018—over allegations that Iran had failed to curb its missile program and concerns over its role in the Middle East—has jeopardised the deal entirely. Since then, the US has unilaterally restored sanctions on Iran against the will of its European partners, prompting Iran to gradually scale up its uranium enrichment program.

Expect those European partners—namely France, Germany and the UK—to attempt to defuse recent tensions between Tehran and Washington, which have flared up during President Trump’s last days in office. President-elect Joe Biden has announced that he is open to re-negotiate the deal if Iran accepts absolute compliance, while Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, a moderate in Iranian politics, has also expressed openness toward the deal. Still, it is difficult to see Tehran make concessions to the Biden administration, especially after the assassination of its senior nuclear scientist, alongside the steady hardening of sanctions until Biden’s inauguration.

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