Showdown at the “No Okay Corral” on JCPOA


E3 cannot logically activate JCPOA dispute settlement mechanism

…from Press TV, Tehran

[ Editor’s Note: Iran has to have good lawyers when dealing with Westerners in future agreements. I had always been concerned that Trump’s walking away from agreements would spread to other nations to “equal the playing field”.

There will never be a shortage of $500 per hour lawyers in DC and London to advise a country on how to get out of an agreement, although they might discount that price if you have a large military, and/or nuclear weapons.

Iran has pulled a rabbit out of the hat today with the “we triggered the dispute mechanism first” move on the JCPOA chessboard. It will want to slow the process down, as other irons are in the fire that could eclipse this dispute, things like Pompeo ruling that foreign leadership assassinations could speed up the US unipolar regime change operations.

The E3 dragging out the INSTEX payment program was a strong indication that they thought other events like war would make the JCPOA a moot issue. Trump seems to have bent them over, using EU sanctions as an open-ended threat on EU foreign policy.

Maybe what we need is a bond mechanism for all past agreement violators, that they cannot be a party to a new one without the appropriate cash bond… Jim W. Dean ]

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Will the JCPOA breakdown push Iran to nuclear equality on the QT, like Israel has?

– First published … January 19, 2020

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas says the three European signatories to Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), cannot logically activate the deal’s dispute settlement mechanism, because Iran has already done that.

“We are now engaged in complicated legal discussions and Russia and China are of the same opinion. It was Iran that first resorted to Article 36 [of the JCPOA] and completed its application.

Therefore, logically, legally and even politically speaking, the European countries cannot take advantage of this article, because we have already done that and applied its mechanism in full,” Araqchi said while addressing a meeting at the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s School of International Relation on Sunday.

On January 14, the three European signatories to the Iran deal — France, Britain and Germany — formally triggered the dispute mechanism, which accuses Iran of violating the agreement and could lead to the restoration of the anti-Iran UN sanctions that had been lifted by the JCPOA.

Under the mechanism outlined in the deal, the EU would also inform the other parties — Russia and China as well as Iran itself. There would then be 15 days to resolve the differences through the JCPOA Joint Commission.

If not settlement is reached through the commission, the foreign ministers of involved countries will then discuss them for another 15 days. In case of need, an advisory board will be formed to help foreign ministers.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Iran’s deputy foreign minister said, the recent measure taken by three European countries is only aimed at dispute settlement and has nothing to do with restoration of UN sanctions against Tehran.

“The trigger mechanism, which may lead to restoration of the United Nations Security Council’s sanctions against Iran has not been started by the three countries,” Araqchi noted.

“They have only resorted to the dispute settlement mechanism as per Article 36 of the deal, while the trigger mechanism is enshrined in Article 37. Article 36 does not automatically lead to Article 37, though it can pave the way for its application,” the top Iranian diplomat added.

The US withdrew from the accord in 2018 and re-imposed its unilateral sanctions on Iran last May. Britain, France, and Germany, under Washington’s pressure, failed to protect Tehran’s business interests under the deal against the American bans.

This May, Iran began to gradually reduce its commitments under the JCPOA to both retaliate for Washington’s departure, and trigger the European trio to respect their obligations towards Tehran.

On January 5, Iran took a final step in reducing its commitments, and said it would no longer observe any operational limitations on its nuclear industry, whether concerning the capacity and level of uranium enrichment, the volume of stockpiled uranium or research and development.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has denounced as a “strategic mistake” the European Union’s decision to activate the dispute mechanism, taking them to task for failing to abide by their commitments under the JCPOA, and saying that activating the dispute resolution mechanism is legally baseless and politically a strategic blunder.

Britain, France reiterate commitment to JCPOA

In another development on Sunday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron reiterated their commitment to the Iran nuclear deal and agreed that “a long-term framework” was needed, a Downing Street spokeswoman said.

In a statement after a meeting between Johnson and Macron on the sidelines of a Libya summit in Berlin, the spokeswoman said, “On Iran, the leaders reiterated their commitment to the JCPOA.”

“They agreed on the importance of de-escalation and of working with international partners to find a diplomatic way through the current tensions,” he added.

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  1. We don’t have the Brothers Earp or “Doc” Holiday to pull this one out of the fire.
    BTW, the gunfight at the OK Corral actually did not occur there, it was on a street in front of a photographic parlor….an ambitious reporter created the OK Corral scenario.

  2. Unfortunately, if it was as easy as having a good US lawyer, Jim, the derpderps in DC would be toast by now. The courts lack personal jurisdiction over Iran and Iran would have no standing in the United States; Iran cannot pay US attorneys without invoking OFAC’s interest; OFAC is controlled by Mnuchin/the Max Terrorist Pressure Pigs; they don’t play fair and may simply attack any attorneys hired to avoid dealing with the case itself and have it tossed; the US courts are not without corruption (whatsoever); the media won’t give it fair publicity; they will use digital and illegal surveillance means to spy on any potentially privileged conversations to gain an edge; and, getting a special license from OFAC for the cause will them to have levers of control over the representation. I would have done it for free and $500 per hour is actually a low rate for Western attorneys here (hence, the reputation). The corporate clients have litigation spends as tax write-offs. Iran would receive higher — and not lower — rates as it is an entire state. As the Iraqis will soon find out, the only purpose of getting lawyers to pursue things like stolen oil when the POTUS is corrupt enough to do it is to gain publicity on the matter and to pressure a political solution. Finally, the admin. has the wealthy bully strategy. They’ll violate and have you fight uphill (for years) to gain back your nominal rights. He had the “Polish Brigade” in litigation for 18 yrs until they were exhausted.

    • This is what US laws and courts are really like behind that curtain of simulated democracy and “freedom”. Everything comes down to money and, with corruption, then it also requires an admission into the club of corruption. In cases of tyranny, as per the present, it requires an entrance into the even-more-elite club of the tyrannical. Tyranny is a monopolizing force as is corruption. Tyranny can be viewed at times as the pinnacle of corruption.

    • There also exists a fifth column or stubborn influence in Iran based on faux or true posturings of the conservative political vantage point whereby internal political pressures are compelled to force Iran, dependently, into the semi-reciprocating arms of Russia and China. For example, instead of giving full support to a robust and acrobatic performance under the JCPOA, some people were publishing things like that “Rouhani is a Freemason” or instigating more US-Iranian enmity in whatever way they could (not just one party). Western contracts are not really based on good faith, but strategic. Iran wasn’t allowed the flexibility to be strategic — it was forced to operate on non-existent “good faith” only so some could be branded “traitors” and “failures”. There’s a reason why certain actors that are claimed to have been “innocent” in the 2016 elections really weren’t and worked towards getting the US admin. to break the deal and prevent any balancing of both Iran’s or the US’ strategic interests. In another vein, it might be more optimal for Iran to pursue EU breaches in EU courts than US breaches in US courts. The DOJ would be the prosecuting actor for any OFAC violations and Barr makes Epstein and Epstein tapes go missing. The way Russia got Oleg Deripaska’s sancitons removed is that Oleg is friends with Nat Rothschild. Russia is about to ask Israel to get the remainder of its sanctions removed/and attempt to do so for Syria too. HMM…

  3. What part of the agreement was so far fulfilled by the European countries? As far as I can see they have not done significantly higher trades based on the proposed currency facility, nor did they purchase or deliver significantly more goods then before.
    It’s just verbal commitment, but no actions.

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