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Iran deal to last only if all sides comply: Iranian UN envoy

13 December 2016 16:10

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Iran’s envoy to the United Nations says the multi-lateral nuclear deal between the country and five other states will last only if all sides to the agreement comply with their contractual obligations.

Iran’s Ambassador to the UN Gholam-Ali Khoshroo made the remark on Monday, addressing a UN General Assembly meeting to discuss an annual report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN’s nuclear watchdog.

The IAEA’s chief, Yukiya Amano, submitted the report to the Assembly, detailing its activities over the past year. The IAEA is tasked with monitoring the technical implementation of the Iran deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was struck between the Islamic Republic and the US, Britain, Russia, France and China plus Germany last year.

“At a time when the Agency and all sides to the JCPOA have verified that Iran has fully lived up to its JCPOA obligations, other sides [too] are obligated to fulfill their commitments in a real sense and refrain from [taking] any action that contradicts the letter, spirit, and intent of the agreement,” Khoshroo said in his General Assembly speech.

Since the implementation of the deal in January 2015, the IAEA has consistently verified Iranian compliance.

Khoshroo said, “Although Iran has remained and will remain fully committed to the JCPOA as a multilateral agreement, in order for the deal’s permanence to be guaranteed, all concerned parties, and not only Iran, will be required to fulfill all JCPOA commitment in a complete and timely fashion.”

Such inclusive compliance, he said, would be to the benefit of the sides to the agreement as well as the international community.

The US Congress has recently voted to extend a piece of anti-Iran legislation known as the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA), extending the US president’s authority to impose potential sanctions on Iran for another 10 years.

The law was first adopted in 1996 to punish investments in the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program and support for anti-Israeli resistance groups. The ISA awaits President Barack Obama’s signature to turn into law. The White House has signaled that it will sign the ISA but will “waive” nuclear-related sanctions against Iran. Even so, Iranian officials have complained, the JCPOA has been breached as a result of the Congress’ renewal of the ISA.

In his Monday speech, Khoshroo said the congressional vote was against the JCPOA’s “letter and spirit” and also clearly in contravention of US commitments under the deal. He urged the US government to expeditiously resolve the concerns that have arisen as a result of the measure.

Khoshroo had earlier submitted an official letter of complaint about the US Congress vote to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

The Iranian envoy concluded his Monday remarks by saying that, “The Islamic Republic of Iran is determined to continue its nuclear activities in the area of research and development and the production of nuclear energy, including the development of the complete nuclear fuel cycle toward peaceful purposes.”

Under the JCPOA, which puts certain limits on the Iranian nuclear program in return for the termination of all nuclear-related sanctions, Iran is allowed to conduct research and development in the nuclear field.

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