Joint Commission of Iran nuclear deal to convene in Vienna Wednesday: EU
Iran Press TV
Monday, 24 February 2020 2:32 PM
The remaining parties to a landmark nuclear deal signed in 2015 between Iran and six world powers are to hold a Joint Commission meeting in Vienna on Wednesday, the EU's diplomatic service says.
"The Joint Commission will be chaired on behalf of the EU High Representative Josep Borrell Fontelles by EEAS (European External Action Service) Secretary General Helga Maria Schmid and will be attended by representatives of China, France, Germany, Russia, United Kingdom and Iran," EEAS said in press release on Monday.
The meeting comes as the EU3 -- the three European signatories to the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) -- accused Iran on January 14 of violating the terms of the accord and announced that they plan to trigger a dispute settlement mechanism that could eventually restore UN Security Council sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
Under the mechanism outlined in the deal, the EU should also inform the other parties -- Russia and China -- as well as Iran itself. There would then be 15 days to resolve the differences through the JCPOA Joint Commission. If no settlement is reached through the commission, the foreign ministers of involved countries will then discuss them for another 15 days. In case of need, an advisory board will be formed to help foreign ministers.
The historic deal has been slowly crumbling since US President Donald Trump withdrew from it in May 2018 and re-imposed unilateral sanctions on Iran. The EU3, under Washington's pressure, failed to protect Tehran's business interests under the JCPOA against the American bans.
After months of gradual steps to reduce compliance, Iran announced on January 5 that it would take the fifth and final step in scale back its commitments under the nuclear accord to both retaliate for Washington's departure, and trigger the European trio to respect their obligations towards Tehran.
This comes as the European parties are trying to find a way to persuade Iran to come back into line with the JCPOA.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on February 15 expressed the country's readiness to reverse its retaliatory measures against the EU's violation of the nuclear deal if Europe provides "meaningful" economic benefits to the country.
"We have said that we are prepared to slow down or reverse these measures commensurate with what Europe does," Zarif told reporters at the 56th Munich Security Conference.
In a statement on January 24, the European Union said it would give its members more time to discuss, under the dispute mechanism enshrined in the deal, possible ways to preserve the JCPOA.
"There is agreement that more time is needed due to the complexity of the issues involved. The timeline is therefore extended," Borrell said.
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