Adoption Day: US Officials Comment

October 19, 2015

U.S. officials welcomed the nuclear deal’s Adoption Day on October 18. "This is an important day for all of us and a critical first step in the process of ensuring that Iran’s nuclear program will be exclusively for peaceful purposes," said Secretary of State John Kerry. Following Adoption Day, Iran is expected to begin dismantling parts of its nuclear infrastructure, while the United States and European Union begin preparing to lift certain sanctions. But sanctions will not be removed until Implementation Day, which will occur once the U.N. nuclear watchdog determines that Iran has fulfilled its nuclear commitments. The following are statements from U.S. officials on Adoption Day.

President Barack Obama
 
Today marks an important milestone toward preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and ensuring its nuclear program is exclusively peaceful going forward. On this Adoption Day of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) reached between the P5+1, EU, and Iran, JCPOA participants will make necessary arrangements and preparations for the implementation of their JCPOA commitments. Today, Iran begins to take the steps necessary to implement its JCPOA commitments, including removing thousands of centrifuges and associated infrastructure, reducing its enriched uranium stockpile from approximately 12,000 kilograms to 300 kilograms, and removing the core of the Arak heavy-water reactor and filling it with concrete so that it cannot be used again, among other steps. These next steps will allow us to reach the objectives we set out to achieve over the course of nearly two years of tough, principled diplomacy and will result in cutting off all four pathways Iran could use to develop enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon. I am confident in the extraordinary benefits to our national security and the peace and security of the world that come with the successful implementation of the JCPOA.
 
I have directed that the heads of all relevant executive departments and agencies of the United States begin preparations to implement the U.S. commitments in the JCPOA, in accordance with U.S. law, including providing relief from nuclear-related sanctions as detailed in the text of the JCPOA once the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has verified that Iran has completed all of its nuclear steps. We will also be closely monitoring Iran’s adherence to its commitments, working closely with the IAEA and the other JCPOA participants, to ensure Iran fully fulfills each and every one of its commitments.
I welcome this important step forward, and we, together with our partners, must now focus on the critical work of fully implementing this comprehensive resolution that addresses our concerns over Iran’s nuclear program.
—Oct. 18, 2015, in a statement
 
Secretary of State John Kerry
 
I welcome the announcement today by the EU, the P5+1, and Iran that we have now reached Adoption Day of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).  This is an important day for all of us and a critical first step in the process of ensuring that Iran’s nuclear program will be exclusively for peaceful purposes.
 
The IAEA has confirmed that on October 15 Iran completed its required Roadmap steps to address issues of past concern, and Iran has notified the IAEA of its intent to provisionally apply the Additional Protocol.  As well, Iran will now begin taking all of the necessary steps outlined in the JCPOA to restrain its nuclear program and ensure that it is exclusively peaceful going forward.  This will include significant changes to its Arak reactor, substantial reductions to its uranium enrichment capacity as well as its enriched uranium stockpiles, and increased access to and continuous monitoring of Iran's declared nuclear facilities by the IAEA.
 
At the direction of the President, the Department of State and our colleagues throughout the U.S. government will continue taking steps to ensure we are prepared to meet our JCPOA commitments.  In order to prepare to implement our sanctions-related commitments, we are today taking contingent action with respect to the waivers of certain statutory nuclear-related sanctions.  These waivers will not take effect until Implementation Day, after Iran has completed all necessary nuclear steps, as verified by the IAEA.
 
Ambassador Tom Shannon and Ambassador Steve Mull will represent the U.S. at the first meetings of the Joint Commission created by the JCPOA this week, which will focus on ensuring that all participants remain on track for Implementation Day.  Ambassador Mull and the entire U.S. Government team will continue to coordinate the implementation of the JCPOA, and we will continue to stay in close touch with Congress going forward.
 
I want to express appreciation for the dedicated, professional work of the IAEA in verifying Iran’s commitments under the interim Joint Plan of Action.  The United States commits once again to working with all of our international partners to ensure that the IAEA has the resources it needs to verify all of Iran’s JCPOA commitments going forward.  The United States will continue to work with all of the members of the P5+1 and with the EU, including to maintain our shared commitment to keep the existing sanctions regime intact until Implementation Day, and then to take the appropriate steps to immediately lift the relevant nuclear-related sanctions when that day is reached.
 
As I said on July 14th, the JCPOA is a measurable step away from the prospect of nuclear proliferation and towards transparency.  If fully implemented, it will bring unprecedented insight and accountability to Iran’s nuclear program forever.  As we move from Adoption Day now towards Implementation Day, I and my entire team will remain vigilant and mindful of not just how far we have come, but how much further we have to go in seeing that this deal is fully implemented.
—Oct. 18, 2015, in a statement
 
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz
 
 
Adoption Day marks an important milestone in ensuring that Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively peaceful in nature. Today, as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) comes into effect, Iran will begin taking substantial and verifiable steps to roll back its nuclear program and place it under a stringent verification and monitoring regime.
 
Under the JCPOA, one step that Iran must take is to redesign its Arak Heavy Water Research reactor, including removing its existing calandria and rendering it inoperable. To support this effort, the Department of Energy’s nuclear experts will lead the U.S. effort to work with our P5+1 partners and Iran to modernize the Arak reactor, effectively eliminating a potential source of weapons-grade material. The Statement of Intent released today between the United States, China, and Iran identifies the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and the People’s Republic of China’s China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA) as the co-chairs of the P5+1 and EU working group, which will meet for initial discussions in the coming weeks. 
 
In addition to co-chairing the Arak Modernization Working Group, the Department of Energy’s technical experts will also continue to support President Obama, Secretary Kerry, our P5+1 and EU partners, and the IAEA through technical advice and expert consultations on nuclear matters.  As we move toward Implementation Day, the next milestone within the JCPOA, the Department’s deep expertise in the nuclear fuel cycle, nuclear safeguards and security, and nuclear materials will be called upon to help ensure that Iran is meeting its key nuclear commitments under the JCPOA. 
 
The JCPOA is based on hard science and unprecedented verification in order to assure the international community that Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon and that its nuclear program is exclusively peaceful.
—Oct. 18, 2015, in a statement
 
Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew
 
Today, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a historic deal which will cut off all of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon, becomes effective, and all those involved officially begin preparations to fulfill their commitments.
 
This initial milestone carries global significance.  As Iran begins taking its nuclear-related measures and the United States and our partners prepare to lift nuclear-related sanctions in response, we move one step closer to a successful JCPOA and a more secure international community.
 
While Adoption Day marks an important milestone, no sanctions are being lifted at this stage, and only the limited relief already provided for under the Joint Plan of Action of November 2013 is in effect.  All other activity that was sanctionable before Adoption Day remains sanctionable today.  Only upon Implementation Day, when international inspectors verify that Iran has completed its nuclear commitments under the JCPOA, will the specified nuclear-related sanctions be lifted. 
 
The United States fully intends to uphold its commitments.  If Iran meets its commitments, we will provide guidance prior to Implementation Day to clearly explain the changes to U.S. sanctions on Iran.  As the Treasury Department and the rest of the U.S. government officially begin preparations, we look forward to working closely with Congress, the international community, and the private sector to ensure a successful JCPOA and an end to the nuclear threat from Iran.
—Oct. 18, 2015, in a statement
 
Treasury resource on Adoption Day
 
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS RELATING TO ADOPTION DAY UNDER THE JOINT COMPREHENSIVE PLAN OF ACTION
 
Q: What is Adoption Day?
 
A: Adoption Day, which is October 18, 2015, marks the date on which the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) comes into effect. Beginning on Adoption Day, JCPOA participants will start taking the steps necessary to implement their JCPOA commitments. Importantly, Iran will now begin taking the nuclearrelated measures set forth in the JCPOA, and the United States and European Union will begin the necessary additional work for the implementation of their commitments with respect to sanctions under the JCPOA. Consistent with Annex V of the JCPOA, the United States issued two documents on Adoption Day: the President issued a Memorandum to the Secretaries of State, the Treasury, Commerce, and Energy to direct them to take all appropriate measures to ensure the prompt and effective implementation of the U.S. commitments in the JCPOA; and the Secretary of State issued contingent waivers of certain statutory sanctions in preparation for the implementation of U.S. commitments with respect to sanctions under the JCPOA. Importantly, these waivers will not take effect until confirmation by the Secretary of State that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has verified that Iran has implemented its key nuclear-related measures described in the JCPOA (Implementation Day).
 
Q: Do the waivers that were issued on Adoption Day result in the lifting of any sanctions on Adoption Day?
 
A: No. The waivers issued on Adoption Day are contingent on Iran verifiably taking key nuclear-related steps outlined in the JCPOA, and the waivers do not take effect until the Secretary of State has confirmed that Iran has verifiably taken those steps. Updated guidance from the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) will reflect this change once it occurs. The only easing of sanctions in effect before Implementation Day continues to be that provided for under the Joint Plan of Action of November 24, 2013, as extended. Until Implementation Day, all other U.S. sanctions remain in effect, and certain activities involving Iran, such as entering into contracts before Implementation Day with individuals and entities on OFAC’s List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN List), could expose the parties to sanctions.
 
Q: When is Implementation Day and what will occur on that day?
 
A: The timing of Implementation Day and the associated sanctions lifting will depend on when Iran fulfills its key nuclear-related commitments specified in the JCPOA. Once the IAEA verifies that Iran has implemented these commitments under the JCPOA, the United States and 2 the European Union will implement the first phase of their commitments with respect to the JCPOA, as set out in Annex V of the JCPOA. On Implementation Day, the lifting of U.S. nuclear-related sanctions described in sections 17.1- 17.2 of Annex V of the JCPOA will occur. To make this happen, the contingent waivers issued on Adoption Day by the Secretary of State will take effect as noted above, and certain Executive orders will be terminated as provided for in the JCPOA. OFAC intends to publish on its website prior to Implementation Day detailed guidance and information on the implementation of U.S. commitments with respect to sanctions under the JCPOA. OFAC will also update its website on Implementation Day to notify the public that the easing of U.S. sanctions pursuant to the JCPOA is in effect. Even after Implementation Day, U.S. persons will continue to be broadly prohibited from engaging in transactions or dealings involving Iran, including the Government of Iran, with the exception of a few additional categories of transactions that the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) will license pursuant to the JCPOA.
 
Q. Would the entry by non-U.S. persons into contracts involving Iranian entities prior to the JCPOA Implementation Day be sanctionable?
 
A. Until Implementation Day, all U.S. sanctions against Iran remain in effect, with the exception of the limited relief provided for in the Joint Plan of Action, as extended. Entering into contracts involving Iran or its government before Implementation Day may be sanctionable. In certain circumstances, this could include contracts that are contingent on the implementation of sanctions relief under the JCPOA, such as contracts involving individuals or entities on the SDN List. Until Implementation Day, we will continue to vigorously enforce the sanctions that remain in effect. As a general matter, unless authorized by OFAC, U.S. persons are prohibited from entering into contracts – contingent or otherwise – involving Iran or its government, including with individuals and entities on the SDN List.
 
Presidential Memoranda on Adoption Day
 
President Obama also issued two memoranda on the deal to the Secretaries of several federal government agencies.
 
MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF STATE
THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY
THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE
THE SECRETARY OF ENERGY
 
SUBJECT: Preparing for Implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action of July 14, 2015 (JCPOA)
 
Today, October 18, 2015, marks Adoption Day under the JCPOA, the day on which the JCPOA comes into effect and all JCPOA participants, including the United States, are to make the necessary arrangements and preparations for implementation of their respective JCPOA commitments.
 
Consistent with section 11 of Annex V of the JCPOA, the Secretary of State, acting under previously delegated authority, is taking action with respect to waivers of relevant statutory sanctions, to take effect upon confirmation by the Secretary of State that Iran has implemented the nuclear-related measures specified in sections 15.1-15.11 of Annex V of the JCPOA, as verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
 
I hereby direct you to take all appropriate additional measures to ensure the prompt and effective implementation of the U.S. commitments set forth in the JCPOA, in accordance with U.S. law. In particular, subject to the requirements of applicable U.S. law, I hereby direct you to take all necessary steps to give effect to the U.S. commitments with respect to sanctions described in section 17 of Annex V of the JCPOA, including preparation for the termination of Executive Orders as specified in section 17.4 and the licensing of activities as set forth in section 17.5, to take effect upon confirmation by the Secretary of State that Iran has implemented the nuclear-related measures specified in sections 15.1-15.11 of Annex V of the JCPOA, as verified by the IAEA.
 
In discharging these responsibilities, you are directed to consult with the heads of other executive departments and agencies as may be appropriate.
 
The Secretary of State is hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.
 
BARACK OBAMA
 
MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF STATE
THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY
THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE
THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE
THE SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY
THE CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF THE
FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM
 
SUBJECT: Delegation of Certain Functions and Authorities under Section 213(b)(1) of the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012
 
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 301 of title 3, United States Code, I hereby order as follows:
 
I hereby delegate the functions and authorities vested in the President by section 213(b)(1) of the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 (TRA) to the Secretary of State, in consultation with: the Secretaries of the Treasury and Commerce and the United States Trade Representative; and with the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and other agencies as appropriate.
 
The delegation of authorities under section 213(b)(1) of the TRA to the Secretary of the Treasury contained in the Presidential Memorandum of October 9, 2012, entitled "Delegation of Certain Functions and Authorities Under the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012" is hereby rescinded. The other provisions of that Presidential Memorandum remain in effect.
 
Any reference herein to provisions of any Act related to the subject of this memorandum shall be deemed to include references to any hereafter-enacted provisions of law that are the same or substantially the same as such provisions.
 
The Secretary of State is authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.
 
BARACK OBAMA