What follows is the full text of the fact sheet released on Wednesday, May 8, 2019, following Iran’s announcement that it will reduce some of its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal, in reaction to the US’ withdrawal.
In the Name of God
Fact Sheet on Islamic Republic of Iran’s Decision to Suspend Part of Its Commitments under JCPOA in Compliance with Rights Stipulated in Clauses 26 & 36 of JCPOA
- Since taking office as the US President, Donald Trump has been seeking to scupper the Iran nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), arguing it has been the “worst and most embarrassing agreement in the United States’ history”.
He tried for so long to make Iran violate the JCPOA to shift the responsibility for scuppering the deal on the Islamic Republic and revive an international consensus against Tehran. This plot against international peace and security was thwarted thanks to Iran’s strategic restraint, vigilance and constant compliance with the JCPOA.
- Afterwards, Trump tried to take European countries on board with pulling out of the deal, an effort which failed as well.
- At the end of the day, Trump withdrew from the nuclear agreement without paying attention to the consequences of his decision, including the political isolation of the United States in the international community.
- From the standpoint of Trump and the bellicose ruling elite in the US, Iran has been the final winner of the JCPOA because under the deal, Iran has established its nuclear program including uranium enrichment, will continue enrichment as well as relevant research and development work, has unraveled the chains of sanctions gripping the country, has found access to international markets, has struck economic cooperation deals with other countries in investment projects, and is respected by the international community. Meanwhile, Iran’s regional and defence policies have remained unchanged and Iran is currently seen as the most powerful country in the region.
- As a result, the United States pulled out of the JCPOA in order to reinstate bans and make the Islamic Republic of Iran buckle under the heavy weight of sanctions, which amounts to economic terrorism.
- Now, one year has passed since the US abandoned the JCPOA. Now, Washington has not only re-imposed all of its unilateral and illegal nuclear sanctions, but also officially and explicitly seeks to implement its policies of “maximum pressure” on Iran and “bringing the country’s oil exports to zero.”
- The United States’ pursuing of these two policies, its illegal withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and even its efforts to counter the implementation of the nuclear plans mentioned in the JCPOA are a gross violation of Resolution 2231 of the UN Security Council and encourage other countries to breach the resolution as well. The US has even threatened countries which comply with the resolution. It is regrettable that this irresponsible behaviour has not received any proportionate and appropriate reaction from the UN Security Council and the international community.
- This comes as the Islamic Republic of Iran, as a committed and responsible member of the international community, has abided by the principle of fulfilling one’s pledges, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has corroborated this compliance in 14 back-to-back reports. The US seeks to drag Iran into a state of “submission or compromise” through political and economic pressures. Such an approach runs counter to the requirements of constructive diplomacy favoured by Iran.
- The US will not be able to bring Iran to its knees. Nevertheless, the US move has rendered ineffective an important part of the effects of the JCPOA and greatly disrupted the balance with regards to the fulfilment of obligations of parties to the JCPOA.
- Following the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal on May 9, 2018, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani gave the three European parties to the JCPOA a weeks-long deadline, at their own request, to make up for the repercussions of Washington’s pullout from the deal and restore to the JCPOA the balance lost as a result of the US action.
- The weeks-long deadline was extended at the request of the above-said countries, and now one year has passed. Nevertheless, except issuing political statements, those countries have not taken any meaningful and efficacious action to compensate for the consequences of the US action.
- To deal with the issue, the Islamic Republic of Iran utilized the settlement mechanism stipulated in the Article 36 of the JCPOA, and the JCPOA Joint Commission met two times at the level of deputy foreign ministers (on May 25, 2018 and March 6, 2019) and two times at the level of foreign ministers (July 6, 2018 and September 24, 2018).
- Also a joint meeting was held on May 15, 2018, bringing together the foreign ministers of Iran and the three European countries as well as EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini.
- In all of the meetings, the remaining parties to the JCPOA admitted that an essential part of the deal would be to have sanctions lifted and enable Iran to reap the economic benefits of the agreement. They undertook to offer “practical solutions” in order to realize this objective and normalize and even boost economic cooperation with Iran.
- Those countries undertook to:
– maintain and enhance economic relations with Iran in different domains
– maintain and sustain effective financial channels in order to conduct transactions with Iran
– ensure the continuation of exports of petroleum and gaseous condensates as well as oil and petrochemical products
– ensure the continuation of marine (including shipping and insurance), land, air and rail transportation relations
– boost credit for exports
– offer clear and effective backing to the economic players doing business with Iran, especially small and medium-sized companies that form the centrepiece of many economies
– encourage further investments in Iran
– support economic players in investment plans and other trade and financial activities carried out with, or in relation to Iran
– bring together experts from state and private sectors, including through the reinforcement of trade councils
– offer practical support to trade with, and investment in Iran
– support companies against the extraterritorial consequences of US sanctions
- Europe’s special financial channel known as the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) is only one of more than ten commitments by the European foreign ministers which have not yet come into force after a year.
- Over the past year, the Islamic Republic of Iran has shown exceptional self-restraint, creating many opportunities for diplomacy. However, the other side has, unfortunately, not seized the opportunities.
- Moreover, Iran has time and again reminded, and given the necessary warnings to the other side. For example, in a letter by President Rouhani dated June 6, 2018, and in 16 letters sent to Mogherini by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, which will be published in due time if necessary, Iran gave warnings to the other side. In those letters, it was announced loud and clear that if Iran’s demands and interests under the JCPOA are not secured as envisaged in the deal, the next step would be for Iran to stop the implementation of a minor or major part of its voluntary moves as stipulated in Articles 26 and 36 of the agreement.
- Now that Iran’s utmost goodwill and restraint together with Washington’s effrontery and unrestrained violations of laws have been proven to everybody, Iran stops the implementation of some of its voluntary measures under the deal as of May 8, 2019, in order to bring back balance to the parties’ implementation of JCPOA commitments and to secure its national interests, based on the rights stipulated in the JCPOA. Iran will give the said countries 60 days to live up to their commitments, especially with regards to banking transactions and oil exports. Otherwise, Iran will, stage by stage, stop more voluntary measures under the JCPOA and in conformity with Articles 26 and 36 of the deal.
- Iran’s measures will, in the first phase, include stopping its voluntary compliance with restrictions on the maintenance of enriched uranium and heavy water stockpiles.
- In the second phase, Iran will stop its voluntary compliance with limitations pertaining to the level of uranium enrichment and measures related to the modernization of the Arak heavy water reactor.
- It is noteworthy that the United States’ illegal sanction on nuclear cooperation (which was announced last week, but had practically been on Washington’s agenda since a year ago) has actually made it impossible for Iran to voluntarily observe the previous limits on storing enriched uranium and heavy water because the US sanction prevents the export of enriched uranium and heavy water, a blatant breach of the provisions of the JCPOA and UN Security Council Resolution 2231.
- Iran’s Supreme National Security Council has warned against any irresponsible move and stressed that Iran will show firm reaction if needed.
- The Islamic Republic of Iran stands ready to continue consultations with the remaining parties to the JCPOA at all levels.
- Iran entered into nuclear talks with goodwill, reached agreement with goodwill, implemented the deal with goodwill, and, after the US withdrawal from the agreement, gave the remaining parties enough time with goodwill. Now it is the turn of the remaining parties to the JCPOA to prove their goodwill and take serious and practical steps to preserve the JCPOA.