October 18 marked Adoption Day for the nuclear deal between Iran and the world’s six major powers —Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States. The day signaled the starting point for the so-called P5+1 countries and Iran to begin preparing to implement their commitments under the agreement. On October 19, representatives from the major powers and Iran gathered in Vienna for the first Joint Commission meeting to discuss the deal’s progress. The following are excerpted remarks from top officials on the status of the agreement and Adoption Day.
E.U. High Representative Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
“Today is Adoption Day of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) related to the Iranian nuclear programme.
“This is another important milestone that brings us a step closer to the beginning of implementation of the JCPOA, to which we are strongly committed.
“We have respected the timetable set out in the JCPOA, which demonstrates our collective will to stick to its provisions.
“Iran will now start the implementation of its nuclear-related commitments with the objective of full and effective completion. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will make the necessary preparations for the monitoring and verification of these steps.
“The EU today adopted the legislative framework for lifting all of its nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions.
“It will take effect on Implementation Day, simultaneously with the IAEA-verified implementation of agreed nuclear measures by Iran.
“The United States is taking action today to cease application of nuclear-related statutory sanctions on Iran effective on Implementation Day when the IAEA has verified implementation of agreed nuclear measures by Iran, as specified in the JCPOA; and is directing all appropriate additional measures be taken to implement the cessation of application of sanctions, including the termination of Executive Orders and the licensing of activities, as specified in the JCPOA.
“The Joint Commission foreseen under the JCPOA will now convene for its first meeting at the level of Political Directors on 19 October in Vienna, in order to further advance preparations for implementing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
“All sides remain strongly committed to ensuring that implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action can start as soon as possible. To this end, we will make all the necessary preparations.”
—Oct. 18, 2015, in a joint statement
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond
Landmark day for historic Iran deal. Puts nuclear weapon beyond reach & opens opport to re-engage w/ int'l community http://t.co/krqZGSIPcX— Philip Hammond (@PHammondMP) October 18, 2015
“This is a landmark day for an historic deal, marking the culmination of a decade of talks between the UK, our partners, and Iran. This will ensure that a nuclear weapon remains beyond Iran’s reach, thus creating a safer region while opening opportunities for Iran to re-engage with the international community as sanctions are progressively lifted.”
—Oct. 18, 2015, in a statement
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier
“Now it's Iran's turn to meet the requirements that were agreed in exchange for an agreement to lift sanctions. We will know only in a few months whether the agreement was a success.”
—Oct. 18, 2015, according to Deutsche Presse-Agentur
U.S. 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.