Experts

  • Position : Consultant
  • Affiliation : PIR Center
  • Position : "Russia and Nuclear Nonproliferation" Program Director
  • Affiliation : PIR Center
  • Position : Consultant
  • Affiliation : PIR Center
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The future of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) may soon be clarified. There is little doubt in Tehran that US will withdraw from the JCPOA. PIR Center consultant Andrey Baklitskiy, who had recently visited Teheran for participating in Russian-Iranian Dialogue, shares his view on the fu...

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PIR Center Experts on the Consequences of US Withdrawal from the JCPOA

10.05.2018

MOSCOW, MAY 11, 2018, PIR PRESS – “It is necessary to maintain cooperation with Iran and send a clear signal to Russian partners abroad that Russia will support legitimate nuclear activities in Iran which correspond with the norms of international law. It is important to maintain such dialogue, as well as provide maximum support to Iran in the international arena and continue bilateral cooperation in the nuclear sphere,” - PIR Center’s “Russia and Nuclear Nonproliferation” Program Director Adlan Margoev.

On May 8, President Trump declared his intention to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear program. The procedure of the withdrawal is not established in the document, and the US decision is a violation of the JCPOA which was signed in 2015 and is still one of the guarantor of security and a pillar of the nonproliferation regime in the Middle East.

The decision to leave the JCPOA can hardly be called unexpected for international community as the current US president never hid his attitude towards the Iran deal. As noted by PIR Center’s Consultant Andrey Baklitskiy, “since his presidential campaign Donald Trump has not changed his stance on the JCPOA; that was a bad deal, and it was necessary to withdraw from it. For some time, the president’s advisors were capable to hold him from drastic steps but Trump demonstrated remarkable consistency in fulfilling his pre-electoral claims.”

In his statement about withdrawing from the JCPOA, Donald Trump also promised to resume sanctions against Iran to the maximum extent possible. According to Mr. Baklitskiy, “it is not about prohibition for US companies to conduct business with Iran (it is already prohibited), but about a ban on cooperation between Teheran and businesses of other countries under the threat of facing US sanctions. And now everything depends on other partners of Iran, including the EU countries, China, Russia, India, among others; if they manage to protect their companies from US pressure, the effect of the US sanctions will be much lower.” Besides, as another PIR Center’ Consultant Yulia Sveshnikova admits in her interview to Kommersant, US pulling out of the JCPOA may result in internal destabilization in Iran due to the current economic problems and strengthening of protest movements in the Iranian society.

Russia negatively reacted to such radical move by the US president. The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement which says: “We are deeply disappointed by US President Donald Trump’s decision to unilaterally give up commitments to implement the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran’s nuclear program  (JCPOA) and to reinstate the US sanctions on Iran. The JCPOA is a key multilateral agreement approved by the 2015 UNSC Resolution 2231. The Action Plan does not belong to the United States alone but is a domain of the entire international community, which has repeatedly reaffirmed its interest in the preservation and long-term sustainable implementation of the JCPOA for the sake of strengthening international and regional peace and security as well as the nuclear nonproliferation regime.”

On May 10, at a round table organized by Rossiya Segodnya International News Agency, PIR Center’s “Russia and Nuclear Nonproliferation” Program Director Adlan Margoev admitted that Russia has historically played an important role in Iranian nuclear issue and may further do so by continuing retuning of the Fordow facility within the framework of the JCPOA and – beyond the agreement ­– by constructing two new units of the Bushehr nuclear power plant. In his view, “it is necessary to maintain cooperation with Iran and send a clear signal to Russian partners abroad that Russia will support legitimate nuclear activities in Iran which correspond with the norms of international law. It is important to maintain such dialogue, as well as provide maximum support to Iran in the international arena and continue bilateral cooperation in the nuclear sphere.”

Commenting on the chances of other participants of the JCPOA to preserve the agreement without the US, Andrey Baklitskiy says in his interview to Kommersant that “for some time Iran will wait if the European participants of the JCPOA in cooperation with Russia and China ensure enough economic benefits for further Iran’s participation in the JCPOA. This is possible, though not very likely. To achieve this, Europe should either secure significant carve-outs from the US sanctions or start a trade war with the United States. If it is impossible to preserve the agreement without the United States, Iran will restore its nuclear program to the levels of 2015 and even further enhance it.”

For additional information related to “Iranian Nuclear Program: Russian Interests” project, you can visit PIR Center’s webpage or contact the “Russia and Nuclear Nonproliferation” Program Director Adlan Margoev by phone +7 (495) 987 19 15 or e-mail margoev@pircenter.org

 

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