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Luke Rawlingsimage1 12To update previous timelines from the U K Defence Forum, two fact sheets were prepared in September, 2019 by Luke Rawlings. This one covers the period 2017-18. The same overview is presented because of this.

Overview 2014-18:

Throughout 2014, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the P5+1 held constructive and extensive talks regarding their intentions to create a nuclear deal with Iran. In exchange for this agreement, Iran would receive the lifting of crippling sanctions enforced on the state for many years.

The JCPOA agreement – agreed in 2015 – was thereupon upheld by Iran from the signatory date, and was thereafter continually monitored and verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Following Donald Trump's inauguration as President of the United States, the ever-present tensions between the U.S. and Iran sparked once more. Iran's pursuit of a ballistic missile program and accusations from the U.S. that the state is supporting terrorist organisations were amongst the many reasons for strain between the two nations.

On the 8th of May, 2018, President Trump announced America's withdrawal from the JCPOA, bringing the stability of the nuclear deal into question.

Since the withdrawal of the United States, sanctions by America have been re-imposed upon the Islamic Republic of Iran, despite all other nations remaining committed to the nuclear deal.

Consequently, Iran have since rejected to abide by particular sections of the JCPOA agreement, notably the stockpiling of enriched uranium.

The JCPOA deal has now reached a crossroads, whereby Iran has demanded that all members of the deal uphold to their commitments to the deal. In turn, Iran will reimpose the restrictions against their nuclear program, as outlined in the deal.

The detailed timeline can be found on the next page


January 16:
• Iran removes excess centrifuges and infrastructure from the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant one day before the deadline.

January 28:
• The Islamic Republic of Iran test fires a medium-range ballistic missile in defiance of UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

March 23:
• America introduce the 'Countering Iran's Destabilising Activities Act of 2017', targeting the ballistic missile program of Iran.

April 19:
• The United States, for the first time under President Trump's administration, certify Iran's compliance with nuclear-related commitments.

May 11:
• IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano delivers a comprehensive reflection on the achievements of the JCPOA, and future concerns in light of a new U.S. administration under President Donald Trump, as well as an Iranian General Election.

June 15:
• Countering Iran's Destabilising Activities Act passes the U.S. Senate, but removes sections violating the JCPOA. Iran maintain that it is contradictory to the 'spirit' of the nuclear agreement.

July 17:
• The U.S. certify Iran's compliance with nuclear-related commitments for a second time. However, President Trump remains insistent that it is a "threat to U.S. interests and to regional security".

July 20:
• Meeting at IAEA headquarters in Vienna between Director General, Yukiya Amano, and the Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister, S. Abbas Araghchi, to discuss the Agency's verification and monitoring of Iran's nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA.

October 13:
• Statement from Director General of the IAEA, ensuring that Iran is now provisionally implementing the Additional Protocol to its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement, a "powerful verification tool".

• President Trump announces that the United States would not make the certification needed to remain committed to the JCPOA, as the suspension of sanctions was not "proportionate and appropriate". However, the President stopped short of terminating the deal completely.

• In response, Ms Mogherini (High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission) stated that the JCPOA "is not a bilateral agreement ... The international community, and the European Union with it, has clearly indicated that the deal is, and will, continue to be in place."

October 29:
• Director General Yukiya Amano visits Tehran to discuss the nuclear program with President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, Vice-President and President of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, and Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif.

November 9:
• Director General Yukiya Amano visits UN Headquarters in New York to ensure the organisations "strong and effective safeguard activities in Iran" with the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Nicki Haley.

November 13:
• Fourth annual report from the IAEA confirms that all nuclear commitments are being met by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

December 15:
• UN Secretary General issues the biannual report on the implementation of Resolution 2231 and finds that, although the nuclear deal is being implemented, Iran violated the arms embargo provisions of Resolution 2231.


February 22:
• In the first quarterly report of 2018, the IAEA confirm that Iran is implementing all nuclear commitments under the JCPOA.

March 5:
• The IAEA request Iran to provide clarifications regarding its plans to develop nuclear fuel cycle for naval nuclear propulsion.

• Furthermore, the IAEA General Director reasserts Iran's implementation of nuclear-related commitments amidst threats from the U.S. to leave the JCPOA deal.

March 15:
• U.S., French, German and British representatives meet to discuss President Trump's demand for a supplemental agreement in regards to Iran's ballistic missile program.

April 30:
• Israel President Benjamin Netanyahu, in a presentation titled "Iran Lied", claims that there is "new and conclusive proof of the secret nuclear weapons program".

May 6:
• President Macron warns the U.S. that withdrawing from the JCPOA would "open Pandora's box" and by doing so there "could be war."

May 8:
• The United States, under President Trump, announced their withdrawal from the JCPOA, a "horrible, one sided deal" that helps support an Iranian regime that continues to advance its missile capabilities and supports terrorist organisations.

• The Trump administration point to the fact that the JCPOA is "not a treaty or an executive agreement...[it only] reflects political commitments between Iran, the P5+1, and the EU."

• Leaders from the United Kingdom, France and Germany issued a joint statement to the United States in response to their withdrawal from the JCPOA, claiming that the nuclear deal remained the "binding international legal framework" to resolve the dispute.

• Former Secretary of State, John Kerry, warns that Trump's withdrawal from the JCPOA is "in breach of the agreement".

May 9:
• IAEA confirm they are "closely following developments related to the JCPOA" [U.S. withdrawal from the agreement] but ensure that Iran is "subject to the world's most robust nuclear verification regime".

• Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation announced its plans to begin "industrial scale" production of enriched uranium, starting in 2025 when the JCPOA is set to end.

• Iranian President addresses the nation on TV and states that, "If the interests of our nation are met in the JCPOA, we will continue this trend but if it serves as only a paper without securing Iranian nation's interests, then we will have a clear path ahead of us".

May 11:
• Iranian President calls the EU (especially Germany, France and the UK) to "fully and clearly" guarantee Tehran's interests in the JCPOA after the U.S.' withdrawal.

May 15:
• President Rouhani argues that 11 consecutive reports by the IAEA verify Iran's commitments to the JCPOA. The U.S. withdrawal is a "political and moral defeat for the U.S. administration".

May 17:
• The European Commission announces its intention to implement the blocking statute of 1996 to declare U.S. sanctions as illegal in Europe, preventing compliance with the sanctions from European companies.

• The European Commission also instructs the European Investment Bank to allow for the investment of European companies in Iran.

May 24:
• Supreme Leader of Iran announces that if China, Russia and the three other European countries can guarantee Iranian economic interests, they will remain committed to the JCPOA.

June 4:
• IAEA's Director General announces that the organisation will continue to verify and monitor Iran's nuclear-commitments - despite withdrawal of the U.S. from the deal.

July 3:
• Iranian President announces Iran's commitment to international rules and the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

July 4:
• Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and IAEA's Director General meet in Vienna to discuss safeguard activities in Iran and to reiterate that the JCPOA continues to represent a "significant verification gain".

• Iran will stay in the JCPOA without the U.S., as long as the agreement continues to benefit Iran's interests.

• "If EU can fill in for U.S. commitments made in the deal, Iran will stay in it."

July 18:
• Iran announce a new factory capable of building up to 60 IR centrifuges a day.

August 6:
• The U.S. announce they are officially reimposing nuclear-related sanctions with respect to Iran's trade and energy sectors, as a means of preventing Iran's perceived "destabilising behaviour".

August 27:
• President Macron of France and President Rouhani of Iran discuss, via telephone the importance of maintaining the JCPOA. However, Iran "will consider other measures" if Europe cannot commit.

September 7:
• Iran and Turkey seek to deepen economic ties in an effort to combat U.S. sanctions.

September 10:
• Introductory statement from the IAEA declaring that Iran must continue to abide by the terms of the JCPOA and that evaluations regarding the absence of undeclared nuclear materials and activities in Iran continue.

September 22:
• Iranian President promises that Iran will "increase its defensive power every day" in the face of continuing U.S. aggression and sanctions.

September 24:
• President Rouhani travels to New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly, hoping that America's reasons to withdraw from the JCPOA can be "explained better".

September 25:
• President Trump states at the UN General Assembly that "Iran's leaders sow chaos, death, and destruction", as additional sanctions are set to resume November 5th.

September 27:
• UN Secretary General affirms the UN's commitment to JCPOA in meeting with Iranian President.

October 3:
• The International Court of Justice (ICJ) rules that the U.S. must remove any impediments to food, agriculture, medicine, aircraft parts, or any other humanitarian goods.

October 4:
• Iranian President claims that Iran are "in the midst of a full-scale economic war".

November 5:
• United States fully impose its heaviest sanctions on Iran yet, targeting its economy, energy, shipping/shipbuilding and financial sectors.

November 26:
• Iran and the EU discuss ongoing modifications to the Arak reactor and conversion of the Fordow facility to a research site.

December 12:
• The UN Secretary-General biannual report welcomes Iran's implementation of its nuclear commitments, despite "considerable challenges from U.S. withdrawal of the JCPOA.

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