Iran Nuclear Talks Current Affairs

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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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Iran tests Ghadr-110 ballistic missile, breaches UNSC resolution

Iran has successfully carried out test of medium range Ghadr-110 ballistic missile near the Chabahar, a port city in southeast of country along the Gulf of Oman.

The test was held in November 2015, but was disclosed by the western intelligence agencies in December 2015. With this Iran so far has  breached of two United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions which compels it to refrain from any work on ballistic missiles for 8 years.

Key facts

  • Ghadr-110 ballistic missile is an improved and advance version of Shahab 3 missile which is similar to the precision guided missile that was tested by Iran in October 2015.
  • It has a range of 1,800 –2000 km and is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead as well as conventional warheads.

Missile test ban

  • Currently under the 2010 UNSC resolution all ballistic missile tests have been banned in Iran until a nuclear deal between Iran and P5+1 nations is implemented.
  • Under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA) reached on July 2015 between Iran and P5+1 nations most sanctions on Iran were lifted in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.
  • But the deal had refrained Iran from working on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons for up to eight years.

P5+1 nations: It is group of six world powers which had joined together in 2006 to reach diplomatic efforts with Iran with regard to its nuclear program. The term P5+1 refers to the UNSC five permanent members China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and United States plus Germany.

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