The United Nations Security Council has endorsed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreed between the E3/EU+3 and Iran on 14 July (see previous blog) by unanimously adopting Resolution 2231. The Security Council’s press release states that the resolution sets out a “rigorous” monitoring mechanism and timetable for implementation of the deal, while opening the way for UN sanctions on Iran to be lifted. On receipt of a report from the IAEA verifying Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA, the Security Council will terminate all of the sanctions set out in resolutions adopted between 2006 and 2015, and after 10 years of compliance it will remove the Iranian nuclear issue from its agenda. The resolution also outlines the process for reinstating sanctions in the event of non-compliance (the so-called “snap back”).
The Council of the European Union has endorsed the JCPOA and UN Resolution 2231, committing to abide by the deal’s terms and follow the agreed implementation plan and timeline for lifting sanctions. In its statement, the Council noted that sanctions relief agreed under the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) in November 2013 has been extended for a further 6 months to cover the period up until the IAEA has verified that Iran has met its commitments. It also requested that the High Representative of the EU continue to play a coordinating role during implementation of the JCPOA, and called upon all countries to support the IAEA, including financially, in its role of verifying Iran’s compliance with the deal.
US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power hailed “the unity of the Council in the process leading to the agreement”, but stated that the United States would be maintaining many of its own sanctions (including a general trade embargo) in view of Iran’s “support for terrorism, destabilising activities in the region, and human rights violations”, and highlighted the “snap-back” mechanism that triggers the reinstatement of sanctions if Iran does not comply with the JCPOA.