Iran Nuclear Agreement: The Day After
The text of the Iran Nuclear Agreement has been published. Although there are not many surprises – the contours and parameters of the deal were already agreed upon in April 2015, the agreement if implemented, is the road-map for ending the crippling sanctions against Iran.
The agreement contains a clear implementation road-map for ending the sanctions. However, the general tone of the agreement is based on verification, reflecting the lack of mutual trust between the parties. The agreement contains five annexes detailing the conditions for ending the restrictive measures.
An overview of how the international sanctions will be uplifted is outlined in paragraphs 18-33 and annexes II and V. The uplifting of all sanctions will, for example, cover:
- removal of financial sanctions, transfer of funds prohibitions, sales of precious trade, (re)insurance limitations,
- sales of civilian aircraft, key equipment for Iran’s oil, gas and petrochemical sectors,
- de-listing of EU and U.S. sanctioned persons/entities, and
- the ending of some of the U.S. secondary boycott which punishes third-countries and their nationals for trading with Iran. Although most primary U.S. sanctions, i.e. applicable to U.S. persons, shall remain in place for the time being.
Interesting is that the Parties have agreed to create a Joint Commission, made up by the agreement parties, to oversee the implementation of the agreement (see annex IV). One of the functions of this commission, assisted by a working group, will be to review the uplifting of sanctions (see annex IV section 7).
The timing for uplifting the sanctions is also specified in the agreement – see annex V – although based on IAEA verification that all nuclear materials in Iran do violate the conditions of the agreement and/or are for peaceful purposes.
The big question is to what extent the U.S. Congress is going to amend the agreement. In the previous months, the reaction has been polarized – Republicans – including Presidential hopefuls – rejecting the agreement and democrats supporting the agreement. Let the games begin…. Although the agreement leaves some questions open, it could be the start of a new era. Let’s hope that everyone seizes the moment. More to follow.