Germany Current Affairs - 2019
Category Wise PDF Compilations available at This Link
The Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has unveiled a “state-of-the-art” domestically produced submarine capable of firing cruise missiles. The launch has gained significance due to the skewed relations with the USA.
- The launch was held in the southern port city of Bandar Abbas.
- Fateh, which means ‘Conqueror’ in Farsi (Persian language) is Iran’s first submarine in the semi-heavy category.
- It fills a gap between the light Ghadir-class and the heavy Kilo-class submarines that Iran possesses.
- The underwater-vessel weighs nearly 600 tonnes and is equipped with torpedoes and naval mines in addition to cruise missiles.
- The submarine can operate more than 200 metres below sea level for up to 35 days.
- It has subsurface-to-surface missiles with a range of about 2,000 kilometres (1,250 miles), making it capable in reaching Israel and U.S. military bases in the region.
- The launch is one of the most important projects Iran’s military have undertaken in the last 40 years mostly because of its vertical launching system.
Heightening Global Tensions
Iran has been aggressively launching new weapons in the recent few months. On 2nd February 2019, the day of the 40th Anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, they successfully test-fired the Hoveizeh cruise missile, with a range of up to 1,350km. Again on 7th February, they test-fired a new surface-to-surface ballistic missile with a range of 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) called the Dezful. This aggressive weaponisation by Iran and the withdrawal of the USA from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA on May 8, 2018, is fuelling the global tensions.
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known commonly as the Iran nuclear deal or Iran deal, is an agreement on the Iranian nuclear program reached in Vienna on 14 July 2015 between Iran, the P5+1 (USA, UK, China, Russia, France and Germany), and the European Union.
Under this agreement, Iran agreed to reduce its medium-enriched Uranium stockpile and reduce the number of Uranium centrifuges in the coming 13 years. Iran also agreed to give regular access to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to their nuclear facilities. In return, the economic and nuclear sanctions on Iran were lifted by the USA, EU and the United Nations.
INSTEX acronym of Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges is a project of the three governments of UK, France and Germany to bypass US sanctions on Iran.
INSTEX is a special payment system which will help to save the Iran nuclear deal by allowing Tehran to keep trading with EU companies despite Washington re-imposing sanctions.
INSTEX is registered at Paris with an initial 3,000 Euros in the capital and a supervisory board with members from France and Germany and chaired by the UK. INSTEX will support legitimate European trade with Iran, focusing initially on the sectors most essential to the Iranian population such as pharmaceutical, medical devices and agri-food goods. INSTEX is primarily aimed at small and medium-sized companies.
In future, INSTEX will also be opened to third countries wanting to trade with Iran. INSTEX to be operational requires Iran to set up a parallel structure of its own.
Protecting against US Sanctions
INSTEX would receive payments from companies that want to trade with Iran, either by receiving waivers for oil imports or permissible trade in goods like food and medicine. As a result, there would be no direct transfer of funds between Iran and European companies. This would theoretically insulate firms from U.S. penalties.