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EU adopts legislative framework to lift sanctions against Iran

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NewsGram Staff Writer

Brussels: The European Union (EU) adopted the legislative framework for lifting all of its nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions against Iran.

The announcement was made in a joint statement by EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif on Sunday, Xinhua reported.

Noting that October 18 is Adoption Day of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) related to the Iranian nuclear program, the statement said that the lifting of sanctions will take effect on Implementation Day, simultaneously with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)-verified implementation of agreed nuclear measures by Iran.

On July 14, Iran reached the JCPOA with P5+1, namely the US, Britain, France, Russia and China plus Germany, over its controversial nuclear program after more than 18 months of marathon talks.

The so-called “Adoption Day”, 90 days for the United Nations Security Council endorsed the Iranian deal. It means Iran and the P5+1 will start implementing the obligations under the Iranian nuclear deal.

“We have respected the timetable set out in the JCPOA, which demonstrates our collective will to stick to its provisions,” said the statement.”Iran will now start the implementation of its nuclear-related commitments with the objective of full and effective completion. The IAEA will make the necessary preparations for the monitoring and verification of these steps,” it said.

The Joint Commission foreseen under the JCPOA will now convene for its first meeting at the level of Political Directors on October 19 in Vienna, in order to further advance preparations for implementing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, according to the statement.

US President Barack Obama earlier on Sunday ordered his administration to take steps to lift sanctions on Iran by implementing the Iranian nuclear deal reached in July.

Head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali-Akbar Salehi said on Sunday that the exact time for implementing the measures by Iran relating to JCPOA has not been decided so far, and it would be determined by president Hassan Rouhani.

According to the nuclear agreement between Iran and the world major countries reached on July 14 in the Austrian capital of Vienna, Iran would improve the transparency of its nuclear plan, downsize its capacity for uranium enrichment and do changes in the structure of its heavy water reactor in exchange for international and Western sanctions relief.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Iran Doubts Europe’s Efforts To Keep Nuclear Deal Alive

Meanwhile, Vice President Pence’s hard-hitting speech at Munich has triggered fears in Europe that Washington has bigger plans, says Florence Gaub of the European Union Institute for Security Studies.

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Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks during the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Feb. 17, 2019. VOA

Iran says Europe’s efforts to keep the 2015 nuclear deal are failing and there is growing support among the Iranian people to restart the country’s atomic program.

“We appreciate that Europe has done a great deal politically. But it hasn’t been prepared to make an investment. It hasn’t been prepared to pay a price,” Zarif told delegates at the Munich Security Conference Sunday.

He accused the United States and Israel of seeking war with his country.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence earlier accused Europe of helping to prop up a ‘murderous’ regime in Tehran.

atomic energy
Not at all a call for ‘let’s renegotiate the deal’ but rather ‘let’s remove the regime in Tehran.’ And in that sense I think this was not interpreted as anything that Europe could accept. Pixabay

“They have led the effort to create mechanisms to break up our sanctions. They call this scheme a Special Purpose Vehicle, we call it an effort to break American sanctions against Iran’s murderous revolutionary regime,” Pence told delegates Saturday.

That Special Purpose Vehicle — officially known as INSTEX — is a payments system designed to allow European companies to trade with Iran and bypass U.S. sanctions, explains sanctions lawyer Nigel Kushner of London-based firm “W Legal.”

“The aim is that it will get around the U.S. secondary sanctions by not involving U.S. dollars, not involving U.S. persons, and certainly at the moment only being involved in the procurement of trade which does not include products or services that are sanctioned by the U.S. authorities,” he said.

Europe is hoping that Iran will show patience, adds Kushner.

“I think on the Iranian side, they will play a waiting game and very much hope that next year Donald Trump might not be re-elected,” he said.

But Tehran says Europe’s offer is not good enough.

“INSTEX falls short of the commitments by the E3 [European three] to save the deal. Europe needs to be willing to get wet if it wants to swim against the dangerous tide of U.S. unilateralism,” Foreign Minister Zarif said Sunday at the Munich conference.

Meanwhile, Vice President Pence’s hard-hitting speech at Munich has triggered fears in Europe that Washington has bigger plans, says Florence Gaub of the European Union Institute for Security Studies.

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“Not at all a call for ‘let’s renegotiate the deal’ but rather ‘let’s remove the regime in Tehran.’ And in that sense I think this was not interpreted as anything that Europe could accept,” she said.

Washington, which withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal last year, has not explicitly called for regime change in Iran. (VOA)