JCPOA Parties Online Meeting Ends With Issuing Statement
According To Iran News, The foreign ministers of Iran, France, the UK, Germany, Russia, and China – the remaining signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal officially known as the JCPOA – had an unofficial online meeting on Monday, December 21, 2020.
At the conclusion of the talks, the top diplomats released a joint statement, the full text of which follows:
- A Ministerial Meeting of the E3/EU+2 (China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy) and the Islamic Republic of Iran, the participants of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was held virtually on 21 December 2020. The meeting was chaired by the EU High Representative Josep Borrell.
- JCPOA participants re-emphasized their commitment to preserve the agreement and stressed their respective efforts in this regard. They discussed that full and effective implementation of the JCPOA by all remains crucial and discussed the need to address ongoing implementation challenges, including on nuclear non-proliferation and sanctions lifting commitments.
- Ministers underscored the important role of the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) as the sole impartial and independent international organization mandated by the UN Security Council to monitor and verify the implementation of the nuclear non-proliferation commitments under the JCPOA. They stressed the importance of continued good faith cooperation with the IAEA.
- Ministers recalled that the JCPOA, as endorsed by UN Security Council resolution 2231 (2015), remains a key element of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture and a significant achievement of multilateral diplomacy that contributes to regional and international security. Ministers reiterated their deep regret towards the US withdrawal from the agreement. They stressed that resolution 2231 remains fully in force.
- Ministers agreed to continue dialogue to ensure full JCPOA implementation by all sides. Ministers acknowledged the prospect of a return of the U.S. to the JCPOA and underlined their readiness to positively address this in a joint effort.
Monday’s virtual meeting of parties to the agreement — the first at the level of foreign ministers in over a year — came as the deal is in what German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called a “downward spiral” caused by a mixture of strong U.S. pressure on Iran and Tehran’s violations of the accord.
The remaining countries that signed the agreement with Iran — Germany, France, Britain, China and Russia — have been trying to keep it from collapsing after the unilateral withdrawal of the United States in 2018.
The three European powers have expressed hope that with the change of administrations in Washington, the U.S. could be brought back into the deal, whose goal is to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb — something Tehran insists it doesn’t want to do.
President-elect Joe Biden has said he hopes to return the U.S. to the deal, which was negotiated while he was vice president.
“We are standing at a crossroads today,” Germany’s Maas told reporters in Berlin, adding that the deal’s survival or otherwise will be determined in the coming weeks and months.
The European powers stressed Monday that “just a commitment” to the accord on everyone’s part is not enough, Maas said.
“To make possible a rapprochement under Biden, there must be no more technical maneuvers of the kind we have seen plenty in recent times — they would do nothing but further undermine the agreement,” he added.
“The opportunity that is now being offered — this last window of opportunity — must not be squandered,” Maas said. “We made that very clear today to Iran in particular.”