Requisites for the Implementation of JCPOA

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Ardeshir Zarei Ghanavati
Expert on International Relations & Foreign Policy

Now that the text of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has passed by the US Congress and the Iranian parliament, the way is clear for the implementation of the nuclear deal reached by Iran and the P5+1 group of countries in mid-July. According to agreements between the two sides and the remarks made by American and European leaders, Federica Mogherini, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and US President Barack Obama officially announced the beginning of the implementation of the legal phase of this agreement through suspension of sanctions against Tehran on Sunday, October 18.

This is the first phase of a legal and executive process of which the first step has been taken so far. The second phase of the implementation of JCPOA will begin in the future, especially after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) prepares its report, which will probably take between three and six months, on the fulfillment of Tehran’s obligations to restrict its nuclear activities. After the IAEA releases its official report to confirm that Iran has fulfilled its duties and obligation as per the agreement, then the United Nations Security Council will pass a binding resolution, and while endorsing the agreement, will automatically take Iran's nuclear case out of Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations. In this way, the Security Council will officially render null and void its previous resolutions which had been adopted to punish Iran and impose sanctions on the country in this important case. This phase is perhaps the most important phase of the legal process of JCPOA because it will put an end to all doubts about Iran's nuclear activities and equivocal interpretations of international players involved in this case, and will basically clear the way for the implementation of the agreement.

Given the firm resolve of both sides of the agreement and the final decision made by the officials of the Islamic Republic to accept the agreement on the basis of JCPOA documents, no inhibitory or disrupting force seems possible to cause this trend to fail though differences usually emerge through implementation phase of the agreement. Therefore, now that JCPOA has been passed by the Iranian parliament and any legal barrier on the way of its implementation has been removed, taking accurate measures and showing special sensitivity for fulfiling the country’s obligations according to the agreement made by the IAEA will be of the highest importance for the Islamic Establishment and the administration of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Although in the first phase of the agreement, the resolve and decision made by officials at the highest levels of the government facilitated management of the legal process of the agreement, in the second phase, due to implementation of JCPOA at the middle level of the government and involvement of middle-ranking officials, unpredictable problems and disruptions can be expected.

Of course, this sensitivity will exist on the side of IAEA as well, because its inspectors and technocrats are supposed to start restricting Iran's nuclear activities and examine its background, so that, at the end of the day, they would be able to declare Iran's abidance by its obligations as well as the peaceful nature of the country’s nuclear activities. Therefore, since IAEA inspectors may not have complete command of their work and may not be informed of the general outlines and policies of JCPOA, emergence of technical differences which may overshadow the agreement is totally possible in this stage. Under such sensitive conditions, at least on the part of Tehran, Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, as the highest ranking official with regard to implementation of JCPOA, who is also well informed about legal and political aspects of the agreement, must completely steer his organization throughout technical stages and also play the role of the main connecting link with IAEA's inspectors and officials with regard to the implementation of the agreement. This practical necessity is exactly conformant to the same requirement according to which Obama and US Secretary of State John Kerry have been designated as the main officials in charge of this case on the American side and are personally overseeing all phases of the implementation without allowing middle-ranking officials to show any uncalculated reaction.

More than being a temporary or technical step, this case and the subsequent agreement should be construed within framework of power relations both inside the country and in the area of foreign relations. For this reason, inhibitory forces on both sides of the case may sometimes prefer their political interests over national interests and, at times, take meddlesome measures to disrupt the agreement. Under these conditions, national expediency calls on political officials, who have been able after a period full of tensions to steer the balance of powers at national and international levels toward reconciliation and achievement of a mutually acceptable agreement, to continue their full and determining supervision over executive processes related to the details of this case.

Regardless of the agreement, the nuclear case and JCPOA can, in their totality, face problems and obstructionist efforts on both sides through the implementation process and also due to existing ambiguities, they may hit unexpected deadlocks in the course of technical implementation. Due to importance of this agreement for both sides and for International Atomic Energy Agency, senior officials must enforce their supervision and full management through all phases of the agreement, and in case of any difference, before middle-ranking and operational forces find the opportunity to create Gordian knots in the implementation process, leaders at the highest political levels must settle such disputes and prevent possible deadlocks in the implementation of the JCPOA.

Key Words: Iran, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), US Congress, Iranian Parliament, P5+1, Ambiguities, Deadlocks, International Atomic Energy Agency, Implementation Process, Ali Akbar Salehi, Senior Officials, John Kerry, Zarei Ghanavati

Source: Shargh Daily
Translated By: Iran Review.Org

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