International Current Affairs

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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UK’s first woman Sikh MP Preet Kaur Gill elected to Home Affairs Select Committee

Britain’s first woman Sikh MP Preet Kaur Gill was elected to Home Affairs Select Committee in the UK Parliament. She will be one of 11 MPs on the cross-party home affairs committee.

The Home Affairs Select Committee is an influential cross-party panel in the UK Parliament that examines the workings of the Home Office. It investigates the spending, policy and administration of the ministerial department.

The committee chooses its own subjects of inquiry within the remit of the home office. Previous inquiries have looked at extremism, immigration, hate crime, asylum, drugs, human trafficking, prostitution, extradition, counter-terrorism and the police. It publishes reports and the Government must respond to its recommendations.

Labour party MP Yvette Cooper was recently elected unopposed as chairman of the committee. Earlier it was chaired by Keith Vaz, Britain’s longest-serving Indian-origin MP, who had stepped down in September 2016.

Preet Kaur Gill had won the Edgbaston seat for the Labour party in the June 2017 snap general election. She also has been chosen to lead the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for British Sikhs, which promotes the interests of Sikhs in Britain. Gill’s whose family is from Jamsher, in Jalandhar, Punjab. Her father, Daljit Singh, had moved and settled in the UK in 1962.

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