Will a JCPOA participant country begin the process of imposing “snapback” sanctions on Iran by 31 December 2024?

Started Jul 27, 2023 07:00PM UTC
Closing Jan 01, 2025 05:00AM UTC

The 2015 Iran nuclear deal (i.e., the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” or “JCPOA”) includes a “snapback” provision which enables a participant state to initiate a process that would reimpose the UN Security Council sanctions that were lifted as part of that agreement (Washington Institute, Iran Watch). The Trump administration tried to initiate this process in 2020, but the effort was rejected by other signatories because the U.S. had withdrawn from the agreement (Washington Post, BBC). 

As part of an attempt to revive the nuclear deal, the Biden administration rescinded that request in 2021 (U.S. Institute for Peace). However, recent developments in Iran’s nuclear weapons program, including the discovery of highly enriched uranium at an Iranian facility in February, has brought the debate over “snapback” sanctions back to the forefront of the policy discussion (NBC News, Financial Times, Reuters).  

Resolution Criteria:
The question will resolve as “Yes” if one of the JCPOA participants initiates the snapback process by filing a letter with the U.N. Security Council, charging Iran with significant non-performance of commitments (see paragraphs 36 and 37 of the JCPOA). Letters to the U.N. Security Council regarding Iran can be found here. Current JCPOA participants include: China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany, the European Union, and Iran. The U.S. is no longer considered a participant because it withdrew from the agreement in 2018. 

Additional Reading:

This question is part of the issue decomposition on “Iran's Nuclear Progress.” For more, see INFER's explainer, issue reports, and other questions in this decomposition.
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