The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) -– the Iran nuclear deal — came into being after more than a decade of tortuous negotiations between Iran and its P5+1 interlocutors, the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and Germany. The JCPoA, slated to be implemented over 10 years, suffered a setback when the Donald Trump administration withdrew from the agreement in May 2018. Iran’s interactions with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) – the agency tasked with monitoring Iran’s compliance with JCPoA and its nuclear safeguards agreements — have subsequently acquired a critical edge.
From May 2019 — a year after the US withdrawal — Iran began to gradually desist from abiding by its JCPoA commitments. It has, for instance, started enriching uranium beyond its commitments and has also undertaken research and development (R&D) activities prohibited by the JCPoA.