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UN Chief’s Report on JCPOA Implementation Unbalanced, Biased

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Iran says the latest report by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the implementation of last July’s nuclear agreement between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 group of countries violates the letter and spirit of the deal.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Bahram Qasemi, dismissed as unbalanced and biased the UN chief’s report about the implementation of the council’s Resolution 2231 that endorsed the nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“This report runs counter to the letter and spirit of the JCPOA and even the Resolution 2231,” Qasemi said, adding, “This report has been drawn up under obvious pressure by the US on the United Nations secretariat and the allegations made in it against Iran are baseless.”

The Iranian spokesperson further described as a positive move the UN chief's inclusion in his report of the failure of the US and the Western sides to fulfill their obligations under the JCPOA.

“However, it is regrettable that the report ignores such cases very easily and refrains from making a serious request on the P5+1 members to remain committed to their obligations,” Qasemi added.

He emphasized that the international community expects the UN chief to explicitly state the cases of the failure of the US and some members of the P5+1 to fulfill their JCPOA obligations, an issue which has been verified by many countries.

“The expression of concern by the report about Iran’s missile tests was a completely spiteful and biased move because the secretary general has made comments about the issue in blatant violation of the very content of Resolution 2231 and by merely resorting to criteria declared by the US, which violate all professional principles,” the spokesman said.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran once again emphasizes that Iran’s ballistic missiles by no means fall within the jurisdiction of Resolution 2231, because they have not been designed to carry nuclear warheads and the Islamic Republic of Iran will, therefore, not allow anyone to even opine about its defense system,” Qasemi pointed out.

He said the JCPOA was the outcome of long-term collective measures in order to find a diplomatic solution to a fabricated and unnecessary crisis, adding that the agreement’s longevity requires the political will of all sides to remain committed to their obligations as well as professional and supportive measures by bodies such as the UN.

He once again reiterated Iran’s commitment to its obligations but emphasized that the country would “take exigent reciprocal action” in case the other sides fail to honor their part of the deal.

Qasemi emphasized that it has been repeatedly proved that the adoption of hostile approaches by the UN Security Council against Iran will bear no fruit.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran warns that repetition of previous experiences will poison the spirit of the JCPOA and the positive atmosphere created as its result and this will never be beneficial to any side and the international community,” he said.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also said the United States will likely receive a low grade for its commitment to implementation of last July’s nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries.

“If we want to give a grade to the JCPOA, it will definitely get a very good score considering the time frame and international circumstances, but if we want to give a grade to the way that the Americans implemented the agreement, they will probably receive a low score,” said Zarif, who headed Iran's nuclear negotiating team in talks with the six countries.

He added that the JCPOA is a “very important achievement” for the Islamic Republic as it safeguarded the Iranian nation’s dignity on the international scale, recognized its rights, scrapped the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and prevented new sanctions against the country.

Zarif emphasized that the JCPOA was "a very defensible document” which proved that nothing can be imposed on the Iranian nation through pressure.

He reasserted Iran's continued implementation of its obligations under the JCPOA with seriousness and precision, and the country's resolve to prevent the opposite side from failing to meet its own commitments.

Following the JCPOA implementation, many European banks started transacting with their Iranian counterparts, he said.

“However, a number of banks are still in fear of US regulations, but we believe that such fear is a psychological fear emanating from conservative nature of monetary and banking institutions and not from regulations which prevent cooperation with Iran,” the foreign minister pointed out.

He said Iran has focused its attention on making the best use of the opportunity created after the JCPOA implementation, but the country will always remember that the US does not keep its promises.

Zarif added that Washington has certainly failed to make enough efforts to allay the international community’s concerns, which were the result of its policies against Tehran over almost a decade.

The US has been urged by fellow members of the P5+1 group of countries to facilitate banking ties with Tehran through the clarification of transaction channels with the Islamic Republic, a senior Iranian official also said.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi made the remarks in Vienna after a fourth meeting of the commission monitoring the implementation of the nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries in July 2015.

“In the meeting of the JCPOA commission, a demand was raised that the US clarify the means for the facilitation of banking ties with Iran,” Araqchi said.

He added that members of the P5+1 group lack consensus on the methods of banking transactions with Iran following the implementation of the JCPOA on January 16.

“Some countries admitted that the current circumstances, particularly the conditions created by the US Treasury on the international level, do not provide the necessary clarification and information to economic firms and enterprises that wish to work with Iran,” the member of the Iranian nuclear negotiating team said.

He noted that some P5+1 member countries called on the US to outline a clear path for economic enterprises to transact with Iran and allay their concerns over the US Treasury moves.

Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani also said Iran is left with no choice but to confront the US for its "injurious" measures, urging the country's top nuclear body to put a uranium enrichment plant into operation. 

The UN chief recently submitted a report to the world body’s Security Council claiming that Iran’s ballistic missile tests “are not consistent with the constructive spirit” of the JCPOA. The report further urges Tehran to “refrain from conducting such ballistic missile launches since they have the potential to increase tensions in the region.”

Larijani said in his remarks, “The Iranian Parliament deplores the UN chief’s move and warns the US administration and the US House of Representatives and Senate that injurious measures against the nuclear agreement have reached such a level as to leave no option for Iran but to counteract.”

He said Ban’s report, while being legally non-binding for Iran, represented the secretary general’s “free fall.”

“On the one hand, the secretary general says in his report that Iran’s commitment to the JCPOA is encouraging, and on the other, he makes no reference to Iran’s concerns and complaints about the non-implementation of all of the P5+1’s obligations,” Larijani said, in reference to the group of countries with which Iran struck the JCPOA.

“Had the Secretary General been tasked with producing a report on both side’s fulfillment of their obligations or is he the P5+1’s monitor in this?” the Iranian Parliament speaker said.

He also asked the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) to prepare a plan to launch a new nuclear plant to be used for enrichment purposes that would satisfy the country’s needs.

He asked that the AEOI notify the Parliament of proceedings regarding the development of the plant.

Larijani said the nuclear deal includes no reference to Iran’s ballistic missiles, adding that it is only Resolution 2231 where the subject pops up merely to call on Iran to refrain from developing missiles designed to carry nuclear warheads.

“Has Iran designed any such thing? Why would the UN chief then declare that the spirit of the JCPOA has been violated?” Larijani asked.

Iran’s Parliament Speaker has also denounced the US Congress for the introduction of a raft of measures against the Islamic Republic, stating that Tehran will use everything at its disposal to retaliate against any anti-Iran moves.

“The US legislature’s approval of anti-Iran motions is against the spirit of the nuclear agreement" struck between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries last July, Larijani said.

"The US Congress has already proposed about 52 resolutions and motions, three of which have been approved. Although the White House has stated that it would veto such sanctions, these measures by the US Congress and Senate exert a psychological pressure on other countries to avoid investment in Iran," he added.

He further criticized Western countries for their failure to uphold their commitments under the nuclear accord, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), saying the Islamic Republic has to "respond in kind" as those countries are "stonewalling" in the foreign investment process despite the fact "they had pledged to create incentives for investment" in Iran.

The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) has also warned that Tehran can roll back its nuclear program if the other side to the country's nuclear agreement violates the deal.

Ali Akbar Salehi said that Iranian experts have devised a “reversibility” mechanism that would enable Iran to “immediately” return to conditions before the conclusion of the deal if the other side fails to live up to its commitments under the nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“Should something happen that would breach the JCPOA… we are fully capable of rolling back the Iranian nuclear program,” Salehi said.  

He, however, stressed that Tehran has no plans to build a new facility.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Salehi said Iran has witnessed many “contradictions” in comments made by Western governments and officials over the past month. 

“We think that something is in the making but we hope it is not true,” he said, censuring a recent report by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on JCPOA implementation.

*Photo Credit: Mehr News, Fars News, Press TV

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