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US lifts nuclear sanctions on Iran

United States (US) has removed a wide range of nuclear sanctions against Iran after it has meet its commitments to roll back its nuclear programme.

These sanctions were lifted after International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed that Iran has met its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA) or Vienna agreement with P5+1 countries signed in July 2015.

So called P5+1 countries include the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (UNSC) viz. USA, Russia, China, UK, France and non- permanent member Germany.

Key facts

  • US has only removed secondary sanctions on Iran that mainly restricts dealings of other countries with Iran.
  • These lifted secondary sanctions include financial services, banking, insurance, energy and petrochemicals, shipping and ports.
  • However, primary sanctions imposed by US on Iran still remains in force. These sanctions bar US citizens and companies from doing business with Iran.

Benefits to India

  • Lifting of primary sanctions will benefit India with lower oil prices on imports from its traditional supplier Iran and also boost trade opportunities.
  • It will also bring proposed India-Pakistan-Iran (IPI) gas pipeline closer to reality.
  • Give impetus to development and construction of strategic Chabbar port which is focal point of India’s gateway to energy rice central Asia and eastern Europe through proposed International North South Trade Corridor (INSTC).

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IAEA ends 12 year Iran Nuclear Weapon probe

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has ended its 12-year investigation into concerns that Iran might be developing nuclear weapons.

In this regard, IAEA Board of Governors have passed a resolution ending its long-running inquiry against Ian but allowing inspectors to continue to police the country’s nuclear programme.

Earlier IAEA has concluded that Iran had conducted nuclear weapons-related research until 2003 and to a lesser extent until 2009, but found no evidence was found.

The move is seen as a key step towards lifting UN, EU and US sanctions and a symbolic victory for Iran. Earlier in July 2015, P5+1 nations and Iran had agreed Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to lift the sanctions.

Under the JCPOA, sanctions against the Iran would be lifted over a series of years in exchange for curbing its nuclear programme. However, Iran has strongly denied pursuing a clandestine nuclear weapons programme. It has clearly positioned itself that its nuclear programme civilian purpose and not for military purpose.

About International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

  • IAEA is an international organization that seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and to inhibit its use for any military purpose, including nuclear weapons.
  • It was established as an autonomous organization in 1957 through its own international treaty, the IAEA Statute.
  • The IAEA has its headquarters in Vienna, Austria.
  • It is independent of the United Nations but reports to both the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and Security Council (UNSC).

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