0542 GMT July 18, 2019
In a Tuesday press release following its sixth meeting in Vienna, the Joint Commission said “all sides reaffirmed their strong commitment to continued full and effective implementation of the JCPOA,” using an acronym for the nuclear accord, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
“The Joint Commission underscored the sanctions lifting commitments contained in the JCPOA, in particular as they relate to the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA),” read the statement, referring to the US sanctions law which has been in place against the Islamic Republic since 1996.
The body also “recognized the United States’ assurance that extension of the Iran Sanctions Act does not affect in any way the sanctions lifting Iran receives under the deal or the ability of companies to do business in Iran consistent with the JCPOA.”
The JCPOA was clinched in July 2015 between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries, which gathers the US, the UK, France, Russia and China plus Germany.
As per the accord, which came into force in January 2016, the six world powers committed to lift the nuclear-relation sanctions, while Iran agreed to limit its nuclear work in certain aspects.
However, in a highly controversial move, the US Congress voted last December to extend the ISA for another 10 years. The law authorizes the US president to re-impose the bans. It was first adopted in 1996 to punish investments in the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program and its support for anti-Israeli resistance groups.
Outgoing US President Barack Obama later withheld his signature from the bill. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said, though, that the US commander-in-chief had allowed the proposed legislation to be signed off into law forgoing his signature. US President-elect Donald Trump has also threatened to scrap the deal.
This is while the International Atomic Energy Organization (IAEA), which monitors the technical implementation of the Iran deal, has repeatedly confirmed Tehran’s compliance.
Tehran views the ISA’s extension as a violation of the JCPOA, but Washington argues the measure will have no impact on the deal’s implementation.
The Vienna meeting focused on the concerns raised by Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif over Washington’s move in a message to the European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, who coordinates the commission’s work.
Following the talks, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi, who headed Tehran’s delegation, said the Islamic Republic “explained its concern on the extension,” adding, “I think the joint commission took Iran’s concern very seriously.”