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The Security Council was informed that attempts to revive the Iran nuclear agreement are currently not progressing.
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The Security Council was informed that attempts to revive the Iran nuclear agreement are currently not progressing.

The 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) outlines the guidelines for overseeing Iran’s nuclear program and enabled the removal of US sanctions. It was mutually agreed upon by Iran, the five permanent members of the Council (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States), as well as Germany and the European Union.

In 2018, the United States withdrew from the agreement during the presidency of Donald Trump. Resolution 2231, passed by the Security Council in 2015, outlined the removal of sanctions.

UN Political Affairs chief Rosemary DiCarlo said the lack of any diplomatic movement was despite “repeated calls on all parties concerned to renew dialogue and engagement aimed at a return to the full and effective implementation of the Plan and resolution”.

Still ‘best option’

Despite this, she stated, “The Secretary-General continues to believe that the JCPOA is the most viable solution to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program remains solely for peaceful purposes.”

She emphasized the importance of Iran undoing actions that are not in line with their nuclear commitments under the Plan and can be reversed, following the collapse of the deal.

The leader of the United Nations, António Guterres, emphasized the importance of the US lifting or waiving sanctions and extending waivers for oil trade with Iran in order for the deal to continue.

She cited the latest report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stating that Iran’s discontinuation of its nuclear-related obligations under the JCPOA has had a significant impact on the verification and monitoring efforts.

Uranium stockpile

She stated that the Agency is still incapable of confirming the amount of enriched uranium present in the country. She also mentioned that Iran currently possesses a stockpile of enriched uranium that exceeds the limit set by the JCPOA by over 20 times.

Sanctions on Iran’s missile programs and transfers ended on October 18, and many nations have reported potential violations of nuclear-related limitations outlined in the JCPOA.

Ms. DiCarlo reviewed every instance, such as provisions concerning ballistic missiles and the utilization of missiles and drones produced in or partly by Iran and used by Russian forces in Ukraine.

While examining a cruise missile used in a November 2019 attack by Houthi rebels in Yemen, she noted striking similarities in design, configuration, dimensions, manufacturers, and part numbers between the debris seen in Yemen and previously examined components of cruise missiles used in other Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. These similarities were also found in cruise missile components confiscated by the United States and the United Kingdom.

The Secretariat determined that the cruise missile utilized in the November 2022 strike was also manufactured in Iran and could have been transferred in a way that goes against resolution 2231.

She provided examples of missile components that seemed to violate the resolution and mentioned receiving letters about drones that were supposedly sent from Iran to Russia for use in Ukraine. However, the ambassadors for both countries rejected the evidence presented by the United States and Ukraine as “completely false” and denied any violation of resolution 2231.

Hopes ‘greatly diminished’

Ms. DiCarlo stated that the implementation of the JCPOA, which took place more than eight years ago, was widely recognized as a significant achievement. However, she also noted that the optimism surrounding the agreement has since declined.

She promised that the United Nations would persist in encouraging all parties involved to use restraint and explore all possible diplomatic options to revive the Plan. Ultimately, the participants hold the responsibility for its outcome.

At this crucial point for global peace and security, she emphasized that its success or failure is important to everyone.

Summary of the Iran Nuclear Deal

  • Can you explain the Iran nuclear agreement? The JCPOA, created in 2015, outlines guidelines for overseeing Iran’s nuclear activities and enables the removal of UN sanctions.

  • Which countries are participating? Iran, the Security Council’s five permanent members (China, France, Russia, UK, US), and Germany, in conjunction with the European Union.

  • What is the role of the United Nations? In 2015, a resolution was passed by the UN Security Council to uphold the JCPOA and ensure that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has ongoing access to and additional details about Iran’s nuclear program.

  • What factors are causing concern about the deal? The deal was abandoned by the Trump Administration in 2018 and sanctions were reinstated. In July 2019, Iran allegedly surpassed its allowed amount of uranium and declared its plans to keep enriching it, increasing the threat of nuclear proliferation.