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Ratification of JCPOA

The UN nuclear agency's director general, Yukiya Amano, (L) and Iran's nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, sign a road map for the clarification of past and present issues regarding Iran’s nuclear program in Vienna, July 14, 2015.

Following the UN Security Council’s endorsement of the JCPOA on July 20, 2015, there was a period of 90 days during which tensions ran high on both sides of the globe.

While Iran was tasked with proving its step-by-step compliance with the IAEA, the US government struggled with preventing a congressional rejection of the deal. On Adoption Day, a joint statement was issued by EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.

In it, they mentioned the necessary steps that must be taken on both sides in an effort to reach implementation day. While Iran will have to focus on completing its nuclear-related commitments, the US and EU will focus on legal action to remove sanctions.

While announcements regarding sanctions relief have been made by the governments of all parties involved, sanctions against Iran will not get fully lifted until the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has confirmed Iran has fully curtailed its nuclear work.

During this period of time between adoption day and implementation day, participants in the JCPOA will begin making the necessary arrangements and preparations to implement the commitments they have made under the agreement. What this means for Iran is that it must take the necessary steps in order to comply with the IAEA.

In an effort to do so, Iran must proceed by taking out thousands of centrifuges at its enrichment facilities. Under the agreement, Tehran also needs to ship out the vast majority of its enriched uranium stockpile to a third country and take out two-thirds of its centrifuges at the Fordow facility, which is deep underground.

Officials have estimated the IAEA’s final assessment of Iran’s compliance before sanctions relief to take place in mid-December, resulting in such relief occurring in the beginning months of 2016. This relief will not only release billions in Iranian assets that have been frozen overseas, but will also fuel economic growth by lowering barriers to Iran’s oil exports and ending the isolation of its banks.

One country eager for sanctions relief has been Japan which plans to triple its imports of Iranian crude once sanctions are lifted. Contrary to what many officials believed, Iran’s parliament was successful in passing a motion to approve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Proponents of the deal, however, faced great difficulty in their road to success. Heated discussions and sharp exchanges had become the norm on the Parliament floor between MPs and Rouhani’s administration.

The 2016 presidential elections have been playing out simultaneously with the JCPOA. Many candidates find themselves at odds with one another on certain issues, but on the issue of Iran, we find these candidates on the same team. Republican candidates have to this date made outlandish statements in regards to the Iran nuclear deal in an effort to lure in Zionist lobbyists.

Everyone from Jeb Bush to Donald Trump to Marc Rubio have employed such tactics and have all failed in acknowledging the implications their statements can have.


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