Implementation of the JCPOA: Transatlantic Perspectives on the Current Status and Challenges

On November 2, 2016, Ambassador Livia Leu, Head of the Bilateral Economic Relations Divisions at the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, and former Ambassador of Switzerland to Iran (2009-2013), was hosted by the Atlantic Council to discuss the current status and remaining challenges of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Ambassador Leu spoke about Switzerland’s ongoing efforts to promote a diplomatic solution between Iran and Western countries, addressed existing limitations and risks of enforcing JCPOA, and stressed the importance of public-private partnerships in both implementing and removing economic sanctions.

  • Trade of goods and services between Iran and the EU has increased significantly over the last year, despite not meeting officials’ expectations.
  • The Obama Administration has been very engaged in making JCPOA a successful agreement, despite facing continuous resistance by Congress.
  • Existing political risk stemming from the unpredictability of the upcoming US elections, ambiguity in interpreting the rules of the JCPOA agreement, and the complex regulatory framework has dis-incentivized US companies (and their foreign affiliates) from investing to Iran.
  • WTO Access, along with multilateral collaboration between policy-makers, regulators, and financial institutions, would increase trust and transparency, impacting positively foreign investment to Iran.