In 2018 the USA President announced withdrawal from the JCPOA. And on 5 January 2020, in the aftermath of the Baghdad Airport Airstrike that targeted and killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, Iran declared that it would no longer abide by the limitations of the deal but would continue to coordinate with the IAEA, leaving open the possibility of resuming compliance
What is JCPOA?
- JCPOA is an agreement signed by Iran and the P5+1+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and EU) on July 14, 2015.
- This nuclear deal or JCPOA seeks to prevent Iran from producing a nuclear weapon — something Iran insists it does not want to do — by putting curbs on its atomic programme in exchange for economic incentives.
- As per the deal, Iran reduced the number of its centrifuges used for enriching uranium by two-thirds, restricted its uranium enrichment to 3.67%, and removed the core of its heavy water facility in Arak.
- The nuclear deal was endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231, adopted on July 20, 2015.
- Iran’s compliance with the nuclear-related provisions of the JCPOA is verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) according to certain requirements set forth in the agreement.
- Following the issuance of an IAEA report verifying implementation by Iran of the nuclear-related measures, the UN sanctions against Iran and some EU sanctions will terminate and some will be suspended.
- 15-year term: After the 15 years, the treaty will come to its term; then the extraordinary restrictions will no longer be applicable
Commitments set out in the JCPOA are:
- Research and development must take place only at Natanz and be limited until 2024.
- No enrichment will be permitted at Fordo until 2031, and the underground facility will be converted into a nuclear, physics and technology centre.
- A UN ban on the import of ballistic missile technology would also remain in place for up to eight years.
- Should redesign the Arak reactor so that it cannot produce any weapons-grade plutonium.
- Iran will not be permitted to build additional heavy-water reactors or accumulate any excess heavy water until 2031.
- Iran is required to allow International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors to access any site they deem suspicious.
- Inspectors from the IAEA continuously monitor Iran’s declared nuclear sites and also verify that no fissile material is moved covertly to a secret location to build a bomb.
- Until 2031, Iran will have 24 days to comply with any IAEA access request. If it refuses, an eight-member Joint Commission – including Iran – will rule on the issue which can decide on punitive steps, including the reimposition of sanctions. A majority vote by the commission suffices.
- UN’s new rules for ships in the Arctic Region
The uniqueness of the treaty
This is the first time that the United Nations Security Council has recognized the nuclear enrichment program of a developing country and backs an agreement signed by several countries within the framework of a resolution (United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231)