Iran Nuclear Agreement and U.S. Exit

20 Jul 2018

Iran Nuclear Agreement and U.S. Exit

By Paul K. Kerr (Specialist in Nonproliferation) and Kenneth Katzman (Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs)

Congressional Research Service; 7-5700; R43333

July 20, 2018


On July 14, 2015, Iran and the six powers that had negotiated with Tehran about its nuclear program since 2006 (the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, and Germany—collectively known as the P5+1) finalized a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The JCPOA required constraints that seek to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program can be used for purely peaceful purposes in exchange for a broad lifting of U.S., European Union (EU), and United Nations (U.N.) sanctions on Iran. The agreement replaced the Joint Plan of Action (JPA), an interim nuclear accord in effect from 2014 to 2016. Congress did not enact a resolution of disapproval of the JCPOA by the deadline of September 17, 2015, which was set by the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (P.L. 114-17); the JCPOA formally took effect on “Adoption Day” (October 18, 2015). “Implementation Day” was declared by the P5+1 on January 16, 2016, representing the completion of Iran’s nuclear requirements; entry into effect of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorsed the JCPOA; and the start of sanctions relief stipulated in the agreement. Officials from both the Barack Obama and Donald Trump Administrations have certified that Iran has abided by its JCPOA commitments.


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