News ID: 234695
Published: 0211 GMT November 23, 2018

IAEA reaffirms Iran’s commitment to JCPOA despite US withdrawal

IAEA reaffirms Iran’s commitment to JCPOA despite US withdrawal

Iran is implementing its side of its nuclear deal with major powers, the UN atomic watchdog policing the pact reaffirmed on Thursday, two weeks after the latest wave of reimposed US sanctions against Tehran took effect.

President Donald Trump said in May he was pulling the United States out of the 2015 nuclear deal for reasons including Iran's influence in the regional countries and its ballistic missile program, none of which are covered by the pact, Reuters reported.

Germany, France and Britain have been scrambling to prevent a collapse of the deal, under which international sanctions against Tehran were lifted in exchange for strict limits being placed on Iran's nuclear activities.

Many Western companies have canceled plans to do business with Iran for fear of breaching the sanctions Washington has put back in place. That has raised fears that Iran will pull out from the agreement.

"Iran is implementing its nuclear-related commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action," International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano told a quarterly meeting of his agency's 35-nation Board of Governors.

The JCPOA is the official name of the nuclear accord.

"It is essential that Iran continues to fully implement those commitments," he added, confirming the findings of a confidential report to IAEA member states last week.

Amano did not comment on the broader impact of US sanctions, the latest round of which took effect on Nov. 5. Iran has warned it could scrap the deal if signatories France, Britain and Germany and their allies fail to preserve the economic benefits promised by its terms.

The European powers have been working on setting up a so-called Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) that would act as a kind of clearing house matching Iranian exports with EU exports in what amounts to a barter arrangement to circumvent US sanctions.

But the countries they have approached to host it have declined, diplomats say, delaying the project and deepening doubt as to whether Europeans can counteract the bulk of US sanctions targeting oil and other vital sources of income.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi said on Wednesday that in his meetings with some European officials new initiatives were being designed for the SPV, adding that expert talks in this regard were underway between Iran and the European side.



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