Sunday, October 18, 2015

Adoption Day: Iran Nuclear Deal Goes into Effect

Today the JCPOA, the landmark nuclear accord placing limits on Iran’s nuclear work in exchange for lifting of sanctions against the country, today goes into effect. Below is a timeline on how we got to this date and what is expected next.

14 July: Iran and world powers signed the JCPOA in Vienna.
IAEA and Iran agreed on necessary arrangements to implement transparency measures of the accord.

20 July: UN Security Council unanimously issued UNSCR 2231 endorsing the JCPOA. The resolution set out conditions for removal of previous Security Council resolutions imposing sanctions against Iran and closure of the Iranian nuclear file at the Security Council.

15 August – 15 October: Iran and IAEA completed discussions on possible military dimensions (PMD) to the Iranian nuclear program. Iran provided explanations, documents and samples to IAEA regarding the remaining PMD issues. IAEA confirmed Iranian compliance.

18 September: U.S. Congress review period of JCPOA ended without any resolution of disapproval passed; making the U.S. the first among the P5+1 and Iran to adopt the agreement. EU has also adopted JCPOA.

13 October: Iranian parliament, Majlis, approved the JCPOA; on 14 October, Iran’s Guardian Council ratified the bill passed by Majlis, making JCPOA the law of the country.

Sunday 18 October: Adoption Day
JCPOA comes into effect. All sides begin to implement provisions of the deal.
  • Iran informs IAEA it will provisionally implement the Additional Protocol (AP) and Modified Code 3.1, and begins implementing PMD roadmap. 
  • The U.S. prepares to cease application of nuclear-related sanctions.
  • EU adopts regulations to terminate nuclear-related sanctions.
  • JCPOA participants begin work on redesign of Arak (IR-40) heavy water reactor.

And what's next?

15 December: IAEA provides final assessment of the resolution of PMD issues.

Implementation Day: Contingent on IAEA Verification
  • Prior to Implementation Day, Iran will have to be in compliance with the provisions of JCPOA, as verified by IAEA. 
    • Dismantling of Arak (IR-40) heavy water reactor in its present configuration; reducing the number of centrifuges in Natanz to 5,060 IR-1; removing IR-2M and IR-4 centrifuges; removing all nuclear materials from Fordo; reducing 3.5-enriched uranium stockpile to 300 kg; diluting all higher-grade enriched uranium stockpile; and implementing AP and modified code 3.1. 
  • UNSC terminates all previous resolutions on Iran and the new UNSCR 2231 goes into effect, maintaining specific restrictions on arms imports and export and the country’s ballistic missiles. 
  • The United States suspends the so-called secondary sanctions on non-U.S. persons related to nuclear issue affecting oil and banking sectors; lifts civilian aviation-related sanctions and ends restrictions on imports of food and rugs from Iran. 
  • EU lifts virtually all nuclear-related sanctions.
  • Sanctions could be re-imposed (“snap back”) if Iran fails to comply with its commitments, as verified by IAEA.
  • IAEA will verify Iran’s compliance with JCPOA listed measures and will provide regular updates on the JCPOA to its Board of Governors and the UNSC.

Adoption Day + 5 Years: Arms import and export restrictions lifted by UNSC.

Transition Day: Adoption Day + 8 Years
  • Iran ratifies the Additional Protocol.
  • UNSC restrictions on ballistic missiles are lifted
  • U.S. seeks legislative termination of sanctions suspended on Implementation Day.
  • EU terminates all remaining nuclear-related sanctions
Termination Day: Adoption Day + 10 Years
  • UNSCR 2231 is terminated and UNSC officially closes Iran’s nuclear file.
Post-Termination: Adoption + 15 or more Years
  • Continued IAEA enhanced monitoring for 15 years
  • IAEA monitoring for uranium ore concentrate for 25 years


Mark Pyruz said...

I would just ad there are terms by Iran on the signatories, that should be listed on "Implementation Day." They include steps Iran will take were the deal not followed through as specified. These steps are referred to in the relevant law passed in Iran's parliament, a full english translation provided below:

Thus, the sentence in the above post should read:

Sanctions could be re-imposed (“snap back”) if Iran fails to comply with its commitments, as verified by IAEA.. Reciprocally, were a member or members of P5+1 fail to comply with its commitments, Iran could reimpose aspects of its nuclear program limited by the agreement.

Nader Uskowi said...

Thanks for the note. Of course it is important to note that the English-language text of JCPOA signed on 14 July in Vienna and endorsed on 20 July by the UN Security Council Resolution 2231 is the sole legal document that sets out the provisions of the agreement and its timeline. All the timeline items above are taken from the JCPOA.

That basic argument aside, let's look at the underlying reason for JCPOA. The nuclear issue was about Iran's nuclear program, and not the sanctions. The UNSC and the West did not put sanctions in place and then Iran in reaction to those sanctions started its nuclear program. It was the reverse that happened. Now after two years of hard negotiations to reach an agreement with Iran to limit its nuclear program, it does not appear that the West is eager to put back sanctions on Iran if the JCPOA is implemented. They would not have negotiated a settlement otherwise.