UNITED NATIONS: U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed implementation of the nuclear deal between Iran and six major powers as “a significant milestone”, and voiced hope that it would contribute to regional stability.
“This is a significant milestone that reflects the good faith effort by all parties to fulfil their agreed commitments,” the secretary-general said in a statement issued by his Spokesperson that highlighted Ban’s satisfaction over the lifting of sanctions on Iran.
The UN chief spoke after the release of a report confirming that Iran has completed necessary preparatory steps to start the implementation of a plan of action aiming to resolve the nuclear issue. It was submitted to the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors and to the United Nations Security Council, after Agency inspectors on the ground verified that Iran has carried out all measures required under what is known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between the E3+3 and Iran.
In July, Iran and a group of six countries “China, France, Germany, Russia, United Kingdom and United States” reached the JCPOA, entrusting the IAEA with verifying and monitoring Iran’s commitments.
Under the plan, Iran pledged never under any circumstances to seek, develop or acquire nuclear weapons, and the UN Security Council is to consider ending sanctions imposed for its Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) violations.
“The Secretary-General commends the dedication and determination shown on all sides,” the statement indicated. “He encourages the parties to continue to implement the JCPOA in the months and years ahead.”
The UN chief further underlined that this achievement demonstrates that international proliferation concerns are best addressed through dialogue and patient diplomacy.
“The Secretary-General hopes the success of this agreement contributes to greater regional and international cooperation for peace, security and stability in the region and beyond,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, IAEA’s Director General, Yukiya Amano, said “Implementation Day” paves the way to begin verifying and monitoring Iran’s nuclear-related commitments under the agreement.
“Relations between Iran and the IAEA now enter a new phase,” he said in a statement. “It is an important day for the international community. I congratulate all those who helped make it a reality, especially the group of countries known as the E3/EU+3, Iran and the IAEA Board.”
In line with its commitments, Iran will now start to provisionally implement the Additional Protocol to its Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA which Mr. Amano said “increases the Agency’s ability to monitor nuclear activities in Iran and to verify that they are peaceful.”
“We have come a long way since the IAEA first started considering the Iran nuclear issue in 2003,” he noted. “A lot of work has gone into getting us here, and implementation of this agreement will require a similar effort. For our part, we are ready to get on with the job.”
Separately, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed reports today of the release of a number of Americans who had been detained in Iran, including Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, and of a number of Iranians held by the United States following an agreement between the two Governments.