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Pictured here, Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shaking hands at the end of negotiations on 14 July 2015, Vienna. They shook hands on 26 September 2013 in the United Nations Headquarters for the first time.[120]

The nuclear deal received a mixed international reaction. Many countries expressed hope that it could achieve the denuclearization of Iran,[121][122][123] while some of Iran's neighbouring countries, including Israel,[124][125] and some U.S. lawmakers expressed distrust of the agreement, seeing it as seriously defective.[126][127][128]

Records

According to several commentators, JCPOA is the first of its kind in the annals of non-proliferation and is in many aspects unique.[129][130][131][132][133]After the 15 years, the treaty will come to its term; then the extraordinary restrictions will no longer be applicable.[119] At that time, in 2030, it is understood that people involved in the 1979 revolution will no longer be politically active.[119] Some critics of the treaty consider it plausible that Iran could then make a nuclear bomb.[119] But with this treaty Iran also ratified the Additional Protocol of the NPT and will thus be subject to inspection and oversight by the IAEA after this delay.[119]

International reaction

According to several commentators, JCPOA is the first of its kind in the annals of non-proliferation and is in many aspects unique.[129][130][131][132][133] The 159-page JCPOA document and its five appendices, is the most spacious text of a multinational treaty since World War II, according to BBC Persian.[134]

This is the first time that the United Nations Security Council has recognized the nuclear enrichment program of a developing country[134][135] and backs an agreement signed by several countries within the framework of a resolution (United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231).[134][136] For the first time in the history of the United Nations, a country—Iran—was able to abolish 6 UN resolutions against it—1696, 1737, 1747, 1803, 1835, 1929—without even one day of implementing them.[134] According to several commentators, JCPOA is the first of its kind in the annals of non-proliferation and is in many aspects unique.[129][130][131][132][133] The 159-page JCPOA document and its five appendices, is the most spacious text of a multinational treaty since World War II, according to BBC Persian.[134]

This is the first time that the United Nations Security Council has recognized the nuclear enrichment program of a United Nations Security Council has recognized the nuclear enrichment program of a developing country[134][135] and backs an agreement signed by several countries within the framework of a resolution (United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231).[134][136] For the first time in the history of the United Nations, a country—Iran—was able to abolish 6 UN resolutions against it—1696, 1737, 1747, 1803, 1835, 1929—without even one day of implementing them.[134] Sanctions against Iran were also lifted for the first time.[134]

Throughout the history of international law, this is the first and only time that a country subject to Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter has managed to end its case and stop being subject to this chapter through diplomacy.[134][137][138] All other cases have ended through either regime change, war or full implementation of the Security Council's decisions by the country.[139]

Gary Sick states that during the history of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), no country other than Iran has ever voluntarily agreed to put such extraordinary restrictions on its nuclear activities.[140]

During the final negotiations, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry stayed in Vienna for 17 days, making him the top American official devoting time to a single international negotiation in more than four decades.[141] Mohammad Javad Zarif broke the record of an Iranian Foreign Minister being far from home with 18-days stay in Vienna,[134] and set the record of 106 days of negotiations in 687 days, a number higher than any other chief nuclear negotiator in 12 years.[142] The negotiations became the longest continuous negotiations with the presence of all foreign ministers of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.[134]

The negotiations included 'rare events' in Iran–United States relations not only since the 1979 Iranian Revolution, but also in the history of the bilateral relations. The U.S. Secretary of State and Iranian Foreign Minister met on 18 different dates—sometimes multiple occasions a day—and in 11 different cities, unprecedented since the beginning of the relations.[143] On 27 April 2015 Kerry visited the official residence of the Permanent Representative of Iran to the United Nations to meet his counterpart. The encounter was the first of its kind since the Iran hostage crisis.[143][144] On the sidelines of the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly, President Obama shook hands with Zarif, marking the first such event in history. The event was also noted in form of diplomatic ranks, as a head of state shook hands with a minister.[145] Obama is reported to have said in the meeting: "Too much effort has been put into the JCPOA and we all should be diligent to implement it."[146]

As provided for in the JCPOA, the agreement was formally endorsed by the UN Security Council.[147][148] .[149][150] There is disagreement about whether the deal is legally binding on the United States.[e]

On 15 July 2015 the American ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, circulated a 14-page draft to Council members.[148] On 20 July 2015 the Security Council unanimously approved the resolution—United Nations Security Council resolution 2231[157]—in a 15–0 vote.[150] The resolution delayed its official implementation for 90 days to allow for U.S. Congressional consideration under the American ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, circulated a 14-page draft to Council members.[148] On 20 July 2015 the Security Council unanimously approved the resolution—United Nations Security Council resolution 2231[157]—in a 15–0 vote.[150] The resolution delayed its official implementation for 90 days to allow for U.S. Congressional consideration under the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015.[149][150] The resolution laid out the steps for terminating sanctions imposed by seven past Security Council resolutions, but retained an arms embargo and ballistic missile technology ban.[147][150] The resolution did not affect sanctions imposed separately by the United States and the European Union.[150] It also codified the "snapback" mechanism of the agreement, under which all Security Council sanctions will be automatically reimposed if Iran breaches the deal.[147]

Speaking immediately after the vote, Power told the Security Council that sanctions relief would start only when Iran "verifiably" met its obligations. Power also called upon Iran "to immediately release all unjustly detained Americans", specifically naming Amir Hekmati, Saeed Abedini, and Jason Rezaian, were imprisoned by Iran was detained at the time, and Robert A. Levinson, who has been missing in the country.[150][158] Hekmati, Abedini, and Rezaian were subsequently released in a January 2016 prisoner exchange, which Secretary of State Kerry said had been accelerated by the nuclear agreement.[159]

On the same day that the Security Council approved a resolution, the European Union formally approved the JCPOA via a vote of the EU Foreign Affairs Council (the group of EU foreign ministers) meeting in Brussels. This sets into motion the lifting of certain EU sanctions, including those prohibiting the purchase of Iranian oil.[150][160] The EU continues its sanctions relating to human rights and its sanctions prohibiting the export of ballistic missile technology.[150] The approval by the EU was seen as a signal to the U.S. Congress.[160]

Review period in the United States Congress