Current Affairs – August, 2018

US announces creation of Iran Action Group to pressurise Iran

United States (US) State Department has announced creation of Iran Action Group (IAG) to execute President Donald Trump administration’s Iran strategy and pressure country to change its behaviors.  Its creation comes in wake of US withdrawal (unilaterally) from Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (also known nuclear deal) signed between Iran and P5+1 countries (P5: China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States and +1: Germany,) and European Union in Vienna (Austria) in July 2015.

Iran Action Group (IAG)

IAG will be responsible for directing, reviewing, and coordinating all aspects of State Department’s Iran-related activity, and it will report directly to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. It will ensure that Department of State remains closely synchronized with interagency partners and lead US diplomatic efforts to galvanize international support for our efforts. Veteran diplomat Brian Hook (current director of Policy Planning in State Department) was appointed head of IAG and will lead it with formal title of Special Representative for Iran.

Background

US had unilaterally withdrawn from historic 2015 Iran nuclear deal, citing it unfair and it cannot prevent Iran nuclear bomb and is defective at its core as it does not target Iran’s ballistic missile programme, its nuclear activities beyond year 2025, and its subversive political and military involvement in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, and Iraq. It also simultaneously announced to re-impose sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under nuclear deal to squeeze Iran’s economy and, consequently, its regime in order to change its policies. Following pullout from JCPOA, US had rolled out new strategy on Iran, outlining 12-point requirements for Iran to change its behaviors. In August 2018, uS re-imposed sanctions on Iran on non-energy areas and notified that it will slap remaining sanctions in November 2018 that concentrate on Iran’s key economic areas such as energy, shipping and ports.

iCRAFPT: International Conference on Recent Advances in Food Processing Technology held in Thanjavur

International Conference on Recent Advances in Food Processing Technology (iCRAFPT) was held at Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IFPT), Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu. The theme of conference was “Doubling farmers’ income through food processing”.

Key Facts

The conference provided strong platform for knowledge sharing and meaningful delegation among industry, academia, researchers and farmers which will potentially impact the food sector growth to a newer height. It featured eight technical sessions on diversified areas of food processing. It saw participation of over 9 overseas speakers, 77 Indian speakers, 18 food industry talks, 30 series lectures, 2 panel discussions etc.

Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT)

It is premier national institute working under administrative control of Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI). It is headquartered in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. It delivers research and education in food processing. It also incubates farmers, entrepreneurs and aspiring youth for prospective food business ventures.