Delegates from Iran, Europe, China and Russia are meeting today in Vienna (Austria) at Teheran’s request to take stock of efforts to save the 2015 nuclear deal (the JCPOA). A new attempt by international diplomacy, in response to US President Donald Trump’s decision to cancel it and introduce “the hardest sanctions in history” against the Islamic Republic.
For the first time since entry into force, the joint committee meeting to oversee the application of the text will be held without the presence of Washington, which withdrew on May 8. The other nations have embarked on a “diplomatic marathon” to safeguard the contents of the text, in particular the “peaceful” nature of the atomic program of the ayatollahs. Brussels, Beijing and Moscow strongly believe in the value of the agreement and are intensifying their efforts to keep Teheran’s commitments. On the eve of the meeting some Iranian diplomats recalled that the meeting will focus on the current text; closed doors, therefore, to a possible extension of the discussion and the drafting of a new document, with modifications.
Since its entry into force experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have repeatedly certified that Iran is respecting the points of the agreement. The last of these reports (the first after the US decision to withdraw) was released earlier this week and shows that Iran’s enriched uranium reserves have remained below the 300 kilograms allowed.
In the document, the IAEA also points out that Arak’s heavy water reactor, which could have produced plutonium for military purposes, has not been further developed. However, the experts “encourage” Teheran “to go beyond the requirements set by the 14 July 2015 pact, in order to improve the trust of the international community towards the Islamic Republic.
In recent days, Iran has said it will wait for “effective measures” by European countries, to decide whether the agreement can be saved; otherwise Teheran is ready to relaunch the uranium enrichment program to an “industrial level”.