International Current Affairs 2017

Latest International Current Affairs 2017 with news summaries and current events in International developments, geopolitical, organizations, groupings and fora related updates for India and world with all important national news updates and events for the year 2017.

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Iran, Iraq ink pact on military cooperation

Iran and Iraq signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to step up military cooperation and the fight against terrorism and extremism.

The MoU encourages promotion of interaction and share of experiences in the fight against terrorism and extremism, border security, training and logistical, technical and military support between both countries.

Comment

Iran and Iraq are hoping that the agreement would result in deeper and more serious military cooperation between the two countries. Moreover Iran is going to continue to provide full support to establish sustainable security and stability. However, this military deal likely to trigger concerns in the United States as it has voiced concern over growing Iranian influence in conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Iraq, where it is aligned with rebel Shia fighters.

Background

Iran and Iraq had fought a bloody war for eight years from 1980 to 88 during the reign of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. But bilateral ties both countries have improved after Saddam Hussein was ousted in 2003 and a government led by Shia Muslims took power in Baghdad. Iran is a predominately Shia nation. After the US withdrew its troops from Iraq in 2011, it became increasingly dependent on Iran on various avenues, from trade to security. Iran also is providing military advisory assistance to Iraq in its counter-terrorism campaign against Islamic State (IS), an anti-Shia Sunni terrorist group.

 

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US imposes new sanctions against Iran over ballistic missile program

The United States has imposed new economic sanctions against Iran over its ballistic missile programme and for contributing to regional tensions.

Under the new sanctions, the US Department of Treasury targeted 16 entities and individuals from Iran citing them as illicit Iranian actors or transnational criminal activity. Those sanctioned mainly targets Iran for developing drones and military equipment, producing and maintaining boats, and procuring electronic components.

The sanctions were imposed day after US certified that Iran is complying with the 2015 Nuclear Deal and it will continue to receive nuclear-related sanctions relief. This was the second time, Trump administration certified Iran’s compliance to 2015 Nuclear Deal. 

About 2015 Nuclear Deal

The 2015 Nuclear Deal was a preliminary framework agreement signed between Iran and P5+1 countries (United States, United Kingdom, Russia, France, China- plus Germany) and the European Union in July 2015. The deal is also called as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA) or Vienna agreement.

The deal aims to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon in return for lifting international oil and financial sanctions. Under it, Iran has agreed to give up its most advanced centrifuges and use only its oldest models. But it still allows Iran to continue enrichment in lower quantities for civilian purposes such as power plants.

As part of the deal Iran has agreed to reduce its stockpile of uranium by 98%. Under this deal, Iran could keep 300 kg enriched uranium for the next 15 years and it will get rid of extra uranium by shipping it to Russia. The deal also sets up a comprehensive inspections regime that gives inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) extraordinary and robust access to Iranian nuclear facilities.

Under this deal, global economic sanctions imposed over Iran nuclear programme will be removed. However sanctions related to other aspects of Iran’s behaviour, such as ballistic-missile programme, human-rights issues, support of terrorism and its will not be affected.

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