Effort to restore Iran nuclear deal ‘remains elusive’, Security Council hears

Effort to restore Iran nuclear deal ‘remains elusive’, Security Council hears

Rosemary DiCarlo, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, was updating ambassadors in the Security Council.

The United States has not returned to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the deal is formally called, nor has it lifted or waived the unilateral sanctions it reimposed after its withdrawal in May 2018. Neither has Washington extended waivers over oil trading with Iran.

As for Tehran’s policies, the Government has not reversed any of the steps it has taken since May 2019 which are inconsistent with its nuclear-related commitments.

The 2015 JCPOA lays out the rules for monitoring Iran’s domestic nuclear programme and paved the way for US sanctions to be lifted. It was agreed by Iran, the five permanent members of the Council (China, France, Russia the United Kingdom and the United States) plus Germany together with the European Union.

Unable to verify

Ms. DiCarlo also referred to May’s report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in which the nuclear watchdog “observed again that, regrettably, its verification and monitoring continues to be, and ‘seriously affected by the cessation of Iran’s implementation of its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA’.”

While the IAEA had not been able to verify the total stockpile of enriched uranium in the country since February 2021, “it estimated that Iran maintains a total enriched uranium stockpile thirty times the amount allowable under the JCPOA,” she said.

This includes increased quantities of uranium enriched to 20 per cent and 60 per cent.

“Such a stockpile of enriched uranium and level of enrichment remain very concerning,” she added.

Pursue dialogue

Further in her briefing, Ms. DiCarlo reiterated the call for JCPOA participants to the Plan and the US “to pursue all possible avenues for dialogue and cooperation”.

“In the current climate, it is crucial to prioritize multilateralism and diplomacy, and to set a course that promotes peace and security,” she highlighted.


Iran nuclear deal: a summary

  • What is the Iran nuclear deal? The 2015 “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” (JCPOA), sets out rules for monitoring Iran’s nuclear programme, and paves the way for the lifting of UN sanctions.
  • Which countries are involved? Iran, the five members of the Security Council (China, France, Russia, UK, US), plus Germany, together with the European Union.
  • What is the UN’s involvement? A UN Security Council resolution to ensure the enforcement of the JCPOA, and guarantee that the UN’s atomic energy agency, the IAEA, continues to have regular access to and more information on Iran’s nuclear programme, was adopted in 2015.
  • Why is the deal at risk? The Trump Administration pulled out of the deal in 2018 and re-imposed sanctions. In July 2019, Iran reportedly breached its uranium stockpile limit, and announced its intention to continue enriching uranium, posing a more serious proliferation risk.

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