Do Recent U.S. Sanctions Against Iran Violate the JCPOA?

    Richard Horowitz

    Security, Middle East

     U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin speaks during a news briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., to announce sanctions against Venezuela, August 25, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

    A look at the facts helps to clarify the accusation that Washington is violating the JCPOA.

    On July 14, 2015, the United States, China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany, the European Union and Iran signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), where Iran agreed to limit its nuclear program to peaceful purposes. In exchange, the United States and the EU agreed to lift sanctions against Iran as described in the agreement. The Security Council adopted resolution 2231 endorsing the JCPOA; the U.S. Congress enacted legislation requiring the president to certify every ninety days that Iran is complying with this agreement.

    On July 17, 2017, as scheduled, the United States certified Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA. The next day, the State Department announced new sanctions against Iran, citing “Iran’s malign activities across the Middle East which undermine regional stability, security, and prosperity.” In response, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, stated that these new U.S. sanctions violate the JCPOA.

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    The National Interest



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