A meeting of the Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was held in Vienna on 6 December 2019. Under the terms of the JCPOA, the Joint Commission is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the agreement.
The Joint Commission was chaired by the EEAS Secretary General Helga Schmid and was attended by the E3+2 (China, France, Germany, Russia, United Kingdom) and Iran at the level of Political Directors/Deputy Foreign Ministers.
This meeting takes place at a critical moment. Participants acknowledged Iran's compliance with its nuclear commitments for 14 months following the regrettable withdrawal of the United States from the agreement, and the re-imposition of US sanctions that did not allow Iran to reap the full benefits arising from sanctions lifting. Participants recalled that the JCPOA is a multilateral achievement and key element of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture. In this respect, serious concerns were expressed about a series of developments, in particular the recent steps with regard to the implementation of Iran’s nuclear commitments under the JCPOA.
All participants emphasized the key importance of full and effective implementation by all sides as well as their determination to pursue all efforts to preserve the agreement. In this spirit and in line with the joint statement made in September in New York during the E3/EU+2 and Iran ministerial meeting, E3+2 strongly encouraged Iran to take all the necessary steps towards full implementation of its nuclear commitments and to avoid further escalatory steps in this regard, while stressing the importance to preserve Iran's economic benefits derived from the JCPOA.
Participants underlined and supported the key role played by the IAEA, the body in charge of monitoring and verifying the implementation of Iran’s nuclear commitments under the JCPOA and UN Security Council resolution 2231 (2015).
Participants reiterated their strong support and collective responsibility for the continuation of key nuclear non-proliferation projects that are an essential part of the JCPOA. They welcomed continued efforts by the Arak Working Group Co-Chairs, China and the United Kingdom, in taking the Arak Modernisation Project forward. They took note of recent developments concerning the Fordow facility and expressed strong support to the efforts of Russia to continue implementation of the stable isotope project.
Participants welcomed the decision by the governments of Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden and Norway to join INSTEX, including the perspective to open it in due course to economic operators from third countries. INSTEX aims at facilitating legitimate trade with Iran to support the needs of the Iranian population.
Participants expressed their appreciation for recent diplomatic efforts undertaken to deescalate tension. They underlined the need for all relevant parties to show enough flexibility to allow such efforts to fruition.
In this context, participants discussed the need for serious implementation challenges pertaining to the JCPOA to be addressed within the framework of the JCPOA.