January 16 marked the first anniversary of the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known as the JCPOA.
In a statement, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called the deal “an historic understanding that prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and demonstrated the power of sustained, principled, multilateral diplomacy to address major international challenges.”
The implementation of the JCPOAis highly technical and requires “diligent efforts” by all the participants, noted Mr. Kerry, including the P5+1 countries, the European Union and Iran. “As the International Atomic Agency continues to verify the deal through intensive access and monitoring provisions,” he stated,” there is no doubt that the deal is working, and all participants are keeping their commitments.”
Under the terms of the JCPOA, Iran has shipped out 98 percent of its enriched uranium, dismantled two-third of its centrifuges, filled its plutonium reactor with concrete and implemented the most rigorous nuclear inspection regime ever negotiated, according to Secretary Kerry. The United States and the other members of the P5+1 have also fulfilled their commitments to lift nuclear-related sanctions, and will continue to do so as long as Iran continues to abide by the deal.
The JCPOA, Mr. Kerry noted, “resolved a major nuclear threat without firing a shot or sending a single soldier into combat.” It did not, however, resolve all of the United States’ serious differences with the Government of Iran. “We will continue to push back on [Iran’s] support for terrorism, disregard for human rights, and destabilizing regional activities,” said Secretary of State Kerry. “But the United States,” he added, “our partners and allies in the Middle East, and the entire international community are safer today because of the JCPOA.”